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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Breast Cancer Research

Volume 18, Issue 1, May 2016, Article number 55

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/s13058-016-0712-6. Copyright © BioMed Central


Cancer is now viewed as a stem cell disease. There is still no consensus on the metabolic characteristics of cancer stem cells, with several studies indicating that they are mainly glycolytic and others pointing instead to mitochondrial metabolism as their principal source of energy. Cancer stem cells also seem to adapt their metabolism to microenvironmental changes by conveniently shifting energy production from one pathway to another, or by acquiring intermediate metabolic phenotypes. Determining the role of cancer stem cell metabolism in carcinogenesis has become a major focus in cancer research, and substantial efforts are conducted towards discovering clinical targets.

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