Curated Journal Articles on Mesothelioma

Drug repurposing in malignant pleural mesothelioma: a breath of fresh air?

European Respiratory Review 2018 March [Print 2018 March 31] Link]

Boyer A, Pasquier E, Tomasini P, Ciccolini J, Greillier L, Andre N, Barlesi F, Mascaux C


Drug repurposing is the use of known drugs for new indications. Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare cancer with a poor prognosis. So far, few treatments have been approved in this disease. However, its incidence is expected to increase significantly, particularly in developing countries. Consequently, drug repurposing appears as an attractive strategy for drug development in MPM, since the known pharmacology and safety profile based on previous approvals of repurposed drugs allows for faster time-to-market for patients and lower treatment cost. This is critical in low- and middle-income countries where access to expensive drugs is limited. This review assesses the published preclinical and clinical data about drug repurposing in MPM.In this review, we identified 11 therapeutic classes that could be repositioned in mesothelioma. Most of these treatments have been evaluated in vitro, half have been evaluated in vivo in animal models of MPM and only three (i.e. valproate, thalidomide and zoledronic acid) have been investigated in clinical trials, with limited benefits so far. Efforts could be coordinated to pursue further investigations and test promising drugs identified in preclinical experiments in appropriately designed clinical trials.

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