Fermentation of Sugar in Cancer Cells
The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer with two prefaces on prevention.
Revised lecture at the meeting of the Nobel Laureates on June 30, 1966 at Lindau, Lake Constance, Germany
by Otto Warburg Director, Max Planck-Institute for Cell Physiology, Berlin- Dahlem
“The growth of cancer cells is initiated by a relative lack of oxygen. Cancer cannot live in an oxygen-rich environment…Cancer has only one prime cause. It is the replacement of normal oxygen respiration of the body’s cells by an anaerobic (i.e., oxygen deficient) cell respiration.”
Going into greater detail in The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer, he writes: “…the cause of cancer is no longer a mystery, we know it occurs whenever any cell is denied 60% of its oxygen requirements.
Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar. All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation.
All normal body cells are thus obligate aerobes, whereas all cancer cells are partial anaerobes.” Compare Otto Warburg On The Prime Cause & Prevention of Cancer: Respiration of Oxygen in Normal Body Cells vs. Fermentation of Sugar in Cancer Cells.