Medication for diabetes, inflammation, alcoholism — and even for treating arthritis in dogs — can even kill cancer cells in the lab, based on a study by scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The researchers systematically examined thousands of already developed drug compounds and found practically 50 that have previously unrecognized anti-cancer activity.
The shocking findings, which additionally revealed novel drug mechanisms and targets, suggest a possible way to speed up the development of new most cancers drugs or repurpose present drugs to deal with cancer.
The new work is published in the journal Nature Cancer. It’s the largest research yet to employ the Broad’s Drug Repurposing Hub, a collection that at present contains over 6,000 existing medication and compounds that are either FDA-authorized or have been proven safe in clinical trials.
The research further underlines the first time researchers screened the entire assortment of largely non-cancer medication for their anti-cancer capabilities.
Traditionally, scientists have stumbled upon new uses for a couple of existing medicines, such as the discovery of aspirin’s cardiovascular advantages.
“We created the repurposing hub to enable researchers to make these kinds of serendipitous discoveries in a more deliberate approach,” said the lead author Steven Corsello, an oncologist at Dana-Farber.
Researchers found nearly 50 non-cancer medication — including those initially developed to lower cholesterol or scale back inflammation — that killed some cancer cells while leaving others apart.