Improving cancer radiotherapy with 2-deoxy-D-glucose: phase I/II clinical trials on human cerebral gliomas

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1996 Apr 1;35(1):103-11. doi: 10.1016/s0360-3016(96)85017-6.


Purpose: Evaluation of tolerance, toxicity, and feasibility of combining large fraction (5 Gy) radiotherapy with 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG), an inhibitor of glucose transport and glycolysis, which has been shown to differentially inhibit repair of radiation damage in cancer cells.

Methods and materials: Twenty patients with supratentorial glioma (Grade 3/4), following surgery were treated with four weekly fractions of oral 2DG (200 mg/kg body weight) followed by whole brain irradiation (5 Gy). Two weeks later, supplement focal radiation to the tumor (14 Gy/7 fractions) was given. Routine clinical evaluation, x-ray computerized tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging were carried out to study the acute and late radiation effects.

Results: All the 20 patients completed the treatment without any interruption. The vital parameters were within normal limits during the treatment. None reported headache during the treatment. Mild to moderate nausea and vomiting were observed during the days of combined therapy (2DG + RT) in 10 patients. No significant deterioration of the neurological status was observed during the treatment period. Seven patients were alive at 63, 43, 36, 28, 27, 19, and 18 months of follow-up. In these patients, the clinical and MR imaging studies did not reveal any late radiation effects.

Conclusions: Feasibility of administering the treatment (2DG + 5 Gy) is demonstrated by the excellent tolerance observed in all 20 patients. Further, the clinical and MR studies also show the absence of any brain parenchymal damage.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Cranial Irradiation
  • Deoxyglucose / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Glioma / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Deoxyglucose