Combining non-toxic glycolytic inhibitors with non-toxic antibiotics
Although it has long been known that the anti-oxidant properties of vitamin C may be linked to its purported anti-cancer properties, more recently the blockage of glucose uptake by vitamin C appears to be another important anti-cancer property of this widely used and non-toxic agent.
Importantly, in this recent report published in Oncotarget, the investigators show that combining vitamin C with the widely used antibiotic, doxycycline, which affects mitochondrial function, yields potent toxic effects across a broad range of tumor types.
We have previously shown similar wide-reaching anti-cancer activity with the glycolytic inhibitor, 2-DG, when used in cancer cells that have their mitochondrial function compromised either by exposure to low oxygen (hypoxia), or when co-treated with a mitochondrial agent, or when harboring a genetic defect in their mitochondrial DNA.
Interestingly, in this latest report, the authors suggest vitamin C to be more potent than 2-DG when combined with doxycycline. It would appear, however, if this strategy is applied to humans, then the benefits of the known selective uptake of 2-DG in cancer versus normal surrounding tissue (supported by the results of millions of PET scans) would make 2-DG a more cancer-specific agent to combine with doxycycline than vitamin C.
Overall, this recent publication further supports the continued development and investigation of combinations and strategies aimed at how to best use 2-DG to exploit increased glucose uptake and metabolism, which is a universal trait of cancer.
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