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Repurposed Drugs Targeting Cancer Signaling Pathways: Clinical Insights to Improve Oncologic Therapies

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Drug development is a resource-intensive process. The associated financial costs are currently estimated around 161-1,800 million dollars and the time required to develop individual pharmaceutical products is estimated to range between 11 and 14 years. These limitations have made drug repositioning one of the ...

Drug development is a resource-intensive process. The associated financial costs are currently estimated around 161-1,800 million dollars and the time required to develop individual pharmaceutical products is estimated to range between 11 and 14 years. These limitations have made drug repositioning one of the most prominent areas in pharmacology over the past decade. In drug repurposing, pre-existing drugs are tested against diseases unrelated to their initial use, in order to overcome the high costs and extensive development times for new drugs. Thus, drug repurposing offers several advantages over de novo drug development, in addition to its potential to improve human health, in particular against various types of cancer. 

Cancer is a multifactorial disease appropriate for drug repurposing, since single molecular mechanisms, pathways or biomarkers are usually associated in a wide range of tumor types. Several characteristics facilitate clinical studies for repurposed drugs, such as the lower risk perception of clinical trials and the availability of clinical data. So, drug repurposing research in oncology has increased in recent years, taking advantage of existing, well-characterized, and widely used non-cancer drugs, and testing them as anticancer agents, frequently combined with either standing chemotherapeutics or other repurposed agents. 

However, further research is still required in order to advance the interventional approaches, and to introduce them in the clinic relatively fast to provide improvement of treatments for cancer patients. From bioinformatics platforms to cutting-edge molecular technologies, such as liposomes and CRISPR-Cas9, virtually every strategy is now employed to analyze the effect of potentially repositioned drugs that bolster conventional oncological treatment schemes.

In this topic, we welcome preclinical experiments, clinical trials and observational studies that provide information about the antitumor effectiveness of a diverse non-cancer compounds.

This Research Topic is part two of a two-part series - please also see the collection "Repurposed Drugs Targeting Cancer Signaling Pathways: Dissecting New Mechanisms of Action Through in vitro and in vivo Analyses"


Keywords: drug repositioning, cancer, signaling pathways, treatments


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