Warburg effect and evolutionary dynamics of metastasis

Why do cancers have high aerobic glycolysis?On Friday, I introduced you guys to the importance of motility in cancer metastasis. However, motility isn’t the whole story, another important factor is the type of respiration (energy generation) that the cell uses. As I gathered from conversations with Jacob Scott (and please correct me if I am wrong), when a tumor saturates the area it is in too quickly to recruit new blood vessels then the cancer cells can become oxygen deprived and be forced to switch from the full aerobic Kreb cycle to a focus on less efficient but anaerobic glycolysis. This shift is known as the Warburg effect and is used for diagnosis and monitoring of cancer progress. For an evolutionary game theorist, this means that when we study metastasis we need to consider three strategies: autonomous growth (AG; called ‘proliferative’ in the previous post), invasive (INV; called ‘motile’ in the previous post), and glycolytic (GLY; new to this this post).
Read more of this post