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Institute of Advanced Study (West Building Seminar Room)

Speaker: Michael Solomon, MD

For the past 40 years we have thought of cancer as the result of somatic mutations in nuclear DNA that either block tumor suppressor genes or unblock oncogenes resulting in malignant transformation. But our success in understanding or in treating cancer has been sadly limited.

Thomas Seyfried and others have made a strong case that, in fact, cancer results from the loss of the cell’s ability to obtain energy (ATP) via oxidative phosphorylation, resulting in the cancer cell’s reverting to more primitive metabolic pathways and fermenting glucose (and the amino acid glutamine) even in the presence of adequate oxygen (aerobic glycolysis). This theory was originally suggested by Otto Warburg

in the 1940’s, the so-called Warburg effect. I will offer evidence supporting the possibility that malignant transformation in all cancer is a metabolic disease resulting from mitochondrial dysfunction and is not a genetic disease caused by nuclear DNA changes which occur secondarily. This leads to alternative management strategies for cancer without toxic radiation or chemotherapy.