Manipulating extracellular tumour pH: an effective target for cancer therapy
The pH in tumour cells and the tumour microenvironment has played important roles in cancer development and treatment. It was thought that both the extracellular and intracellular pH values in tumours are acidic and lower than in normal cells. However, recent progress in the measurement of pH in tumour tissue has disclosed that the intracellular pH (pHi) of cancer cells is neutral or even mildly alkaline compared to normal tissue cells. This review article has summarized the recent advancement in the measurement pHi and extracellular pH (pHe) in cancer cells, and the effect of pHi and pHe on proliferation, migration and biological functions of cancer cells. This paper has also elaborated recent treatment strategies to manipulate pHi and pHe for cancer treatment. Based on the recent progress in pHi and pHe manipulation in cancer treatment, we have proposed potential nanoparticle-based strategies to manipulate pHi and pHe to effectively treat cancer.