Does the LKB1–AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) pathway act to suppress tumorigenesis or to rescue cancer cells from metabolic collapse? New work from the Alessi laboratory in this issue of the Biochemical Journal shows conclusively that AMPK activators delay the growth of tumours that occur spontaneously in PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10) heterozygous mice.

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