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International Journal of Cell Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 595976, 9 pages
Review Article

Targeting Metabolism and Autophagy in the Context of Haematologic Malignancies

1Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, 675 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 0V9
2Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, 770 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2
3CancerCare Manitoba, Section of Haematology/Oncology, 675 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 0V9
4Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, 745 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 0J9

Received 13 April 2012; Accepted 28 May 2012

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Filomeni

Copyright © 2012 Versha Banerji and Spencer B. Gibson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autophagy is a cellular process that maintains the homeostasis of the normal cell. It not only allows for cell survival in times of metabolic stress with nutrient recycling but also is able to lead to cell death when required. During malignant transformation the cell is able to proliferate and survive. This is due to altered cell metabolism and the presence of altered genetic changes that maintain the cell survival. Metabolism was considered an innocent bystander that was a consequence of the increased nutrient requirement for the survival and proliferation of haematological malignancies. The interdependency of metabolism and cellular mechanisms such as autophagy are becoming more evident and important. This interdependence contributes to increased cancer progression and drug resistance. In this paper we aim to discuss autophagy, how it pertains to metabolism in the context of hematologic malignancies, and the implications for therapy.