As we embark on another year where cancer is expected to surpass heart disease as the number one death-causing disease in numerous states in America including Florida, it becomes imperative to find more effective and less toxic treatments. Just last week, President Obama designated Vice President Biden to spearhead “Moonshot” – yet another program dedicated to curing cancer.
It is difficult to believe and accept that the sugar analog 2-deoxy-D-glucose, better known as 2-DG, still is not approved for clinical use. We and many others have shown 2-DG to be much less toxic than standard chemotherapy, and have proven it to be more effective against a broader range of tumors than any other known treatment. We have set the clinical groundwork for 2-DG to help cancer patients by successfully completing an FDA-approved Phase I Clinical Trial, but without further pre-clinical work to bring it through the required subsequent trials it will remain stalled in development.
Last year, several laboratories reported on the unique effectiveness of 2-DG in cancers where it has not been tried before. A recent example is a report titled Antileukemic Activity of 2-Deoxy-d-Glucose Through Inhibition of N-Linked Glycosylation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia with FLT3-ITD or c-KIT Mutations (published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, October 6, 2015). AML is a particularly deadly form of leukemia that not only affects adults but now has become the second most common cancer in children.
In collaboration with three other labs this past year alone, we have reported on the effectiveness of 2-DG in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) as well as rhabdomyosarcomas – both cancers that afflict children as well as adults. Moreover, in addition to its direct effect on these types of tumor cells, we have shown that 2-DG also acts as an anti-angiogenic drug – shutting down the blood supply required for a tumor to grow and survive
The evidence for using 2-DG to treat cancer is growing year by year. And yet it remains mired in academic medicine. 2-DG can’t be patented. Therefore pharma companies can’t make money out of it. No profit means no interest from industry. The only barrier preventing 2-DG from progressing through the next phase of clinical trials is funding. That’s why we are relying on the general public to bring this pioneering treatment protocol to patients.
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