PURPOSETo determine whether the response of human head and neck cancer xenografts to cisplatin (CIS) could be enhanced with 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG); whether 2-[(18)F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) uptake correlated with responses to this drug combination; and whether 2DG would enhance CIS-induced radiosensitization.METHODS AND MATERIALSClonogenic survival responses to CIS + 2DG were determined in FaDu and Cal-27 cells and reduced/oxidized glutathione levels were monitored as parameters indicative of oxidative stress. The efficacy of CIS + 2DG was determined in FaDu and Cal-27 xenografts, and FDG uptake was determined by using positron emission tomography.RESULTSUse of CIS + 2DG enhanced cell killing of FaDu and Cal-27 cells compared with either drug alone while increasing the percentage of oxidized glutathione in vitro. Use of CIS + 2DG inhibited FaDu and Cal-27 tumor growth and increased disease-free survival compared with either drug alone. The Cal-27 tumors showed greater pretreatment FDG uptake and increased disease-free survival when treated with 2DG + CIS relative to FaDu tumors. Treatment with 2DG enhanced CIS-induced radiosensitization in FaDu tumor cells grown in vitro and in vivo and resulted in apparent cures in 50% of tumors.CONCLUSIONSThese results show the enhanced therapeutic efficacy of CIS + 2DG in human head and neck cancer cells in vitro and in vivo compared with either drug alone, as well as the potential for FDG uptake to predict tumor sensitivity to 2DG + CIS. These findings provide a strong rationale for evaluating 2DG + CIS in combined-modality head and neck cancer therapy with radiation in a clinical setting.