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Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), Energy for Your Cells, but Inflammatory Towards Cancer

Evan Y. Yu
June 08, 2021

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is that all-important organic compound that we first learn about in biology class back in secondary school, and we revisit countless times in our college and medical school biochemistry courses.  It is found in all known forms of life, is utilized for intracellular energy transfer, and is often loosely referred to as the “molecular unit of currency.”1  In eukaryotes, ATP is produced through the process of cellular respiration, which oxidizes glucose to carbon dioxide via glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation.  Additionally, the breakdown of fatty acid molecules, or beta-oxidation, can also produce ATP.  In the absence of oxygen, anaerobic respiration can produce ATP, albeit less efficiently.


Dr. Evan Yu, MD

Evan Yu, MD

Evan Yu, a medical oncologist, treats prostate, bladder, and testicular cancer, and is passionate about providing a personalized medical approach to a selection of novel therapies as well as understanding biologic mechanism of drug sensitivity and resistance.

Clinical Expertise

Medical Oncology, Translational Research, Novel molecular targeted agents, Biomarkers, Imaging (PET scans, MRI), Bone health.

  • Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Clinical Research Director, Genitourinary Oncology, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • Medical Director, Clinical Research Service, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Consortium
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