Cancer research strategies for the last decade have focused on “targeted therapies”, drugs intended to influence cancer metabolism and interfere with the signals that feed cancer cell growth. In this article in the NYTimes Health section, Dr. Otto Warburg’s work in this area is finally acknowledged.
Dr. Otto Warburg was a genius level scientist in Germany from 1883-1970. He made a number of seminal discoveries in cancer, cell respiration and photosynthesis. He was nominated for no less than three Nobel Prizes in Medicine and Physiology
Otto Warburg invented a special machine to measure intercellular oxygen pressure called the Warburg Manometer. Using this ingenious device, he observed what happened to living tissue when oxygen pressure was reduced. He found that when it is reduced by about one third, the tissue switches from running on oxygen for energy, to running on glucose primarily in the absence of oxygen, or fermentation, published about 1923. The cells either die for lack of energy, or become cancerous. Hundreds of different tissues from different animal organs were exhaustively tested and later checked by others around the world. A book “The Metabolism of Tumours” was published in 1930.