Can cancer cells, or any cells, taste things? Not the way we do, but cells have proteins on their surface that act like antennas. These proteins (called receptors) receive signals from outside the cell and can cause the cells to change what it's doing.
New research results provide some interesting hints about the role of 'bitter' receptors in cancer. Cancer cells don't use the receptor for the same thing that it is used for when tasting food, but it may be important. Cancer cells that have high amounts of the bitter receptor seem to be targeted for destruction.
The new research highlights an unlikely role for bitter receptors and may open the door for new cancer treatments.