Studying the role of lactate in oncogenesis
San Millan and colleagues suggest that the molecule is “the only metabolic compound involved and necessary” in the five stages that follow on from carcinogenesis.
The study examines the role of lactate in angiogenesis (the process by which new blood vessels form inside the tumors), immune escape (the cancer cells’ ability to elude the body’s immune response), and cell migration, as well as in metastasis and self-sufficient metabolism.
The paper explains how in metastasis, lactate helps to create an acidic microenvironment outside the cancer cell, which supports the spread of cancer cells.
Finally, the study also explores the link between lactate and genetic components. The researchers hypothesize that a triad of transcription factors commonly found in most cancers – HIF-1, cMYC, and p53 – also triggers and perpetuates lactate deregulation.