Cancer cells are notoriously power hungry and they alter their metabolism to provide the additional fuel needed for them to survive, grow and spread. Researchers at the Duke University in US discovered a promising target for renal cell carcinomas, a form of kidney cancer.
    
Majority of these cancers rewire their metabolism in a way that leaves them addicted to an outside nutrient called cystine, they said. By depriving the cancer cells of the amino acid cystine, the researchers were able to trigger a form of cell death called necrosis in mouse models of the disease.
    
"We found that the same machinery that makes these tumours so aggressive also makes them vulnerable to nutrient deprivation," said senior study author Jen-Tsan Ashley Chi, associate professor of Duke University School of Medicine.

Renal cell carcinoma has historically been very difficult to cure. The disease kills more than 100,000 people a year, researchers said.

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