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Investigating the regulation of pH in cancer cells

  • Researcher: Dr Pawel Swietach
  • Institution: University of Oxford
  • Award Amount: £191,403 for 3 years from January 2012
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Investigating the regulation of pH in cancer cells

In order to remain healthy, it is important that cells maintain a constant internal pH. Cells are constantly defending their pH balance against chemicals like acid produced by the body, for example, as a result of making energy and breathing. The cells have to pump out the excess acid or alkali which is then taken away by the nearby blood supply. Cancer cells have an even harder struggle to maintain their pH levels as they produce more acid and have a poorer blood supply. The surrounding connective tissue cells also play a role in pH maintenance of the cancer cells and this is what Drs Swietach and Hulikova are using their Worldwide Cancer Research grant to investigate. A greater understanding of the role of these connective tissue cells could aid with the development of improved cancer treatments in the future.

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