How Can 2-DG Help To Fight Cancer
What is it?
2-Deoxy-D-Glucose (or 2-DG) is a glucose molecule that has been modified so that it cannot be properly used by cells to generate energy (it is unable to go through glycolysis and, therefore, cannot be used in this metabolic process). It has been studied for some time due to its potential anti-cancer effect and has been showing great promise as a potent anti-tumor drug.
How does it work?
It competes with normal glucose for the same cell receptors, meaning that cells (and especially cancer cells) consume more of this molecule than glucose. Cancer cells are known to be avid for glucose, so they tend to internalize this compound more than healthy cells. Since they cannot go through the glycolysis process, they have less energy available for their metabolic processes). 2-DG is able to hamper cell growth, but its exact mechanism of action is as of today not well-known.
Against which cancer types can it be used?
Due to the fact that all cancer cells have a well documented higher uptake of glucose than healthy cells and that 2-DG utilizes the same receptors as glucose to find their way into cells, 2-DG can be used in almost all cancer types because it mimics in many ways the glucose molecules, which are indispensable to all cancer cells metabolism.
We recommend 2-DG for many different cancer types and it is a drug that we regularly use in our clinic. Its safety profile is also satisfying and patients usually experience only mild side effects. We also suggest that it be used with other treatment modalities and not as a single agent therapy. Some studies suggest as well that it may enhance Vitamin C effectiveness. 2-DG is only available as an intravenous infusion.