Modeling cancer metabolism on a genome scale

Keren Yizhak, Barbara Chaneton, Eyal Gottlieb, Eytan Ruppin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cancer cells have fundamentally altered cellular metabolism that is associated with their tumorigenicity and malignancy. In addition to the widely studied Warburg effect, several new key metabolic alterations in cancer have been established over the last decade, leading to the recognition that altered tumor metabolism is one of the hallmarks of cancer. Deciphering the full scope and functional implications of the dysregulated metabolism in cancer requires both the advancement of a variety of omics measurements and the advancement of computational approaches for the analysis and contextualization of the accumulated data. Encouragingly, while the metabolic network is highly interconnected and complex, it is at the same time probably the best characterized cellular network. Following, this review discusses the challenges that genome-scale modeling of cancer metabolism has been facing. We survey several recent studies demonstrating the first strides that have been done, testifying to the value of this approach in portraying a network-level view of the cancer metabolism and in identifying novel drug targets and biomarkers. Finally, we outline a few new steps that may further advance this field. Cancer cells have fundamental metabolic alterations that are associated with tumorigenicity and malignancy. This review discusses our current knowledge of altered tumor metabolism and strategies to model these alterations, through the integration of omics data with genome-scale metabolic models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number817
JournalMolecular Systems Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Cancer metabolism
  • Genome-scale simulations
  • Metabolic modeling


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