Non-radioactive 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose inhibits glucose uptake in xenograft tumours and sensitizes HeLa cells to doxorubicin in vitro
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A glucose analog called 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) has been successfully used to sensitize cancer cells to ROS-inducing cancer treatments such as ionizing radiation, through the inhibition of glycolysis. However, the use of 2DG can be limited by several factors such as availability, non-specific cytotoxicity, and chemoresistance under hypoxic conditions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of non-radioactive 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose (19FDG), a drug that potentially addresses current limitations of 2DG. The effectiveness of using either 2DG or 19FDG in combination with doxorubicin (Dox) in HeLa cells was determined in both normoxia and hypoxia. We have also shown that under both oxygen conditions, 19FDG-treated cells produce less lactate than 2DG-treated cells, an important finding that suggests improved inhibition of glycolysis, the preferential pathway for cancerous cells. When used in combination with Dox, we have demonstrated a significant decrease in the number of viable cells, with the effect of 19FDG remaining stable across both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Moreover, the assessment of apoptosis and necrosis revealed that 19FDG maintained its ability to sensitize HeLa cells to Dox in hypoxia, but 2DG was only effective under normoxic conditions. The retained effectiveness of 19FDG in combination with Dox under hypoxic conditions, suggests that 19FDG may be efficacious for sensitizing hypoxic regions of solid tumour masses. Importantly, the ability of 19FDG to inhibit glucose uptake in vivo was also confirmed using positron emission tomography (PET) of xenograft tumours. The results displayed here suggest 19FDG is a promising combination therapy, which may lead to decreased ROS scavenging via glycolysis, and enhanced treatment success.
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