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Science highlights

Latest news about drug repurposing in oncology #1

Latest news about drug repurposing in oncology #1

Discover our first newsletter with scientific updates: we have listed recent findings about the repurposing of generic drugs in oncology. Our intention is to help bring these findings to the attention of the broader cancer research community.

Drug repurposing is a strategy for identifying new uses for approved drugs, outside the scope of the original indication. It is one of the focus areas of the Anticancer Fund.

Being listed is no endorsement of the results and conclusions of the article. All articles need to be critically assessed and viewed in their broader research context.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in discussing research based on the findings presented below (

Clinical data

Influence of Klebsiella pneumoniae and quinolone treatment on prognosis in patients with pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer; observational study; fluoroquinolone; antibiotics; microbiome.

Evaluating prophylactic heparin in ambulatory patients with solid tumours: a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis
Heparin; thromboprophylaxis; overall survival; meta-analysis.

Association of post-diagnostic use of cholera vaccine with survival outcome in breast cancer patients
Breast cancer; observational study; cholera vaccine; immunotherapy.

Preclinical data

Repurposing a psychoactive drug for children with cancer: p27 Kip1-dependent inhibition of metastatic neuroblastomas by Prozac
Fluoxetine; neuroblastoma; MYCN

Acute statin treatment improves antibody accumulation in EGFR- and PSMA-expressing tumors
Statins; Endocytosis; monoclonal antibodies; EGFR; PSMA.

Repurposing the FDA-Approved Antiviral Drug Ribavirin as Targeted Therapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma; Ribavirin; EZH2; Radiotherapy.

Enhanced Anticancer Effect of a Combination of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor (ICPi) in a Syngeneic Mouse Model of Advanced Melanoma
Melanoma; immunotherapy; SAMe; checkpoint inhibition.

Synergistic antitumor interaction of valproic acid and simvastatin sensitizes prostate cancer to docetaxel by targeting CSCs compartment via YAP inhibition
Prostate cancer; statins; valproate; cancer stem cells.

Other drug repurposing news (soft repurposing, non-oncology late-phase trials, regulations …)

Sorafenib maintenance in patients with FLT3-ITD acute myeloid leukaemia undergoing allogeneic haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation: an open-label, multicentre, randomised phase 3 trial
Acute myeloid leukemia; Sorafenib; Stem-cell transplantation; randomized controlled trial; soft repurposing; Global oncology.

Olanzapine for Prevention of Vomiting in Children and Adolescents Receiving Highly Emetogenic Chemotherapy: Investigator-Initiated, Randomized, Open-Label Trial
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; Paediatric oncology; Randomized controlled trial; Global oncology.

Colchicine in Patients with Chronic Coronary Disease
Coronary disease; colchicine; Randomized controlled trial.

Popular media

Cancer World: Could covid-19 boost interest in drug repurposing in oncology? 


Do you have questions? Please contact us:

You'll find more information on drug repurposing here.

Intrested in our clinical trials? Explore them here.

Gauthier Bouche & Pan Pantziarka

Gauthier Bouche (MD) is Director of Clinical Research at the Anticancer Fund. His efforts are dedicated to collaboration with clinicians, researchers and patients groups to initiate clinical trials. He advocates for more pragmatic trials addressing patients' needs and less curiosity-driven trials.

Pan Pantziarka is Programme Director Drug Repurposing of the Anticancer Fund. He is the co-ordinator of the Repurposing Drugs in Oncology project that the ACF has founded in partnership with the US not-for-profit organisation GlobalCures. By training Pan is a data scientist and author but he has switched fields to oncology. He has previously published in the area of cancer pre-disposition syndromes and is also chairman of the George Pantziarka TP53 Trust.