2-Deoxy-D-glucose (or 2-DG) is a glucose molecule that has been modified so that it can no longer be used by our cells to generate energy. It has been studied for some time due to its potential anti-cancer effects and is a promising anti-tumor agent.
All cells, but especially cancer cells, require glucose to generate energy. 2-DG is chemically similar to glucose and, like normal glucose, is absorbed into the cancer cell. In contrast to glucose, 2-DG cannot be used for energy generation. 2-DG also blocks essential enzymes that are required for normal glucose breakdown. As a result, there is a shortage of energy in the cancer cell.
Another effect of 2-DG is that it activates a self-destruction mechanism within the cancer cell. This mechanism is typically blocked within the cancer cells and protects cancer cells. When the self-destruction mechanism is activated again, the cancer cell dies.
Cancer cells have a higher glucose uptake than healthy cells, and 2-DG competes with glucose for the same receptors. Therefore 2-DG can be used in almost all types of cancer. In many ways, 2-DG mimics the glucose molecules that are essential for the entire metabolism of cancer cells. The main difference is that the cancer cells from 2-DG cannot produce energy.
2-DG can be used for many types of cancer. It is well-tolerated, and side effects occur very rarely, if at all. We recommend using 2-DG in combination with other treatment methods and not as a single therapy. Some studies also suggest that it can improve the effectiveness of vitamin C. 2-DG is only available as an intravenous infusion.