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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2010, Article ID 514310, 13 pages
Review Article

The Role of Dysregulated Glucose Metabolism in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

1Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4L8
3CIHR Group in Matrix Dynamics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3E2

Received 29 April 2009; Accepted 3 December 2009

Academic Editor: Maurie M. Markman

Copyright © 2010 L. D. Kellenberger et al. 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.


Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal gynecologic cancer and also one of the most poorly understood. Other health issues that are affecting women with increasing frequency are obesity and diabetes, which are associated with dysglycemia and increased blood glucose. The Warburg Effect describes the ability of fast-growing cancer cells to preferentially metabolize glucose via anaerobic glycolysis rather than oxidative phosphorylation. Recent epidemiological studies have suggested a role for hyperglycemia in the pathogenesis of a number of cancers. If hyperglycemia contributes to tumour growth and progression, then it is intuitive that antihyperglycemic drugs may also have an important antitumour role. Preliminary reports suggest that these drugs not only reduce available plasma glucose, but also have direct effects on cancer cell viability through modification of molecular energy-sensing pathways. This review investigates the effect that hyperglycemia may have on EOC and the potential of antihyperglycemic drugs as therapeutic adjuncts.