Cancer cells could be benefiting from sugary foods.
Eating sugar stimulates cancers to grow and continue to develop, the scientists claimed.
The findings could have “sweeping consequences” for diet recommendations in cancer patients.
“Our research reveals how the hyperactive sugar consumption of cancerous cells leads to a vicious cycle of continued stimulation of cancer development and growth,” said Professor Johan Thevelein, researcher working on the study.
“Thus, it is able to explain the correlation between the strength of the Warburg effect and tumour aggressiveness.”
The Warburg effect explains how cancer cells quickly break down sugars.
Scientists had long been studying the effect, but weren’t sure whether the Warburg effect was a symptom of cancer, or a cause of it.
“Our results provide a foundation for future research in this domain, which can now be performed with a much more precise and relevant focus.”
Cancer patients could be given tailor-made diets to help fight their condition, the scientists said.
Further studies were needed to confirm whether it was the main cause of the Warburg effect.
Meanwhile, last week it was revealed that cancers rates were rising in the world’s ‘better’ countries, more than the world’s ‘worse off’ countries.
Scientists claimed more people survive cancer in countries with access to greater healthcare.
But, survivors then pass on their cancer-causing genes to the next generation.
Neither the UK, nor the US, made the top 10 ‘best’ countries.