Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (2006) 9, 230–234. doi:10.1038/sj.pcan.4500879; published online 9 May 2006

Fatty acid oxidation is a dominant bioenergetic pathway in prostate cancer

Y Liu1

1Nuclear Medicine Service, Department of Radiology, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, USA

Correspondence: Dr Y Liu, H-141, Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital, 150 Bergen Street, Newark, NJ 07101, USA. E-mail:

Received 26 January 2006; Revised 29 March 2006; Accepted 29 March 2006; Published online 9 May 2006.



Most malignancies have increased glycolysis for energy requirement of rapid cell proliferation, which is the basis for tumor imaging through glucose analog FDG (2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose) with positron emission tomography. One of significant characteristics of prostate cancer is slow glycolysis and low FDG avidity. Recent studies showed that prostate cancer is associated with changes of fatty acid metabolism. Several enzymes involved in the metabolism of fatty acids have been determined to be altered in prostate cancer relative to normal prostate, which is indicative of an enhanced beta-oxidation pathway in prostate cancer. Increased fatty acid utilization in prostate cancer provides both ATP and acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA); subsequently, increased availability of acetyl-CoA makes acceleration of citrate oxidation possible, which is an important energy source as well. Dominant fatty acid metabolism rather than glycolysis has the potential to be the basis for imaging diagnosis and targeted treatment of prostate cancer.


glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism, beta-oxidation

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