Background: Cancer is not just one disease; it is a group of diseases either genetic or
metabolic due to the malfunction of mitochondria. Thus, metabolic pathways are reprogrammed to
satisfy tumor cell proliferation and survival requirements.
Methods: We undertook a structured search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research
literature dealing with these metabolic pathways.
Results: It was found that cancer cells prefer fermentation as a source of energy even in the presence
of oxygen, this altered metabolism of cancer cells may confer a selective advantage for survival
and proliferation according to the Warburg effect. Furthermore, some molecules like HIF, PKM2,
NADPH and others are essential to the survival of cancer cells in the hypoxic abnormal environment
which has limited glucose sources.
Conclusion: As cancer cells use glucose for aerobic glycolysis as a preferred substrate for energyyielding
metabolism, we discuss in this review the Warburg effect and a strategy of starving cancer
cells from glucose to prevent cancer cell survival and induce apoptosis in various types of cancer
which could be the key to future treatment.