Drug repurposing—an emerging strategy in cancer therapeutics

Khadija Shahab Turabi, Ankita Deshmukh, Sayan Paul, Dayanand Swami, Shafina Siddiqui, Urwashi Kumar, Shreelekha Naikar, Shine Devarajan, Soumya Basu, Manash K. Paul, Jyotirmoi Aich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Cancer is a complex disease affecting millions of people around the world. Despite advances in surgical and radiation therapy, chemotherapy continues to be an important therapeutic option for the treatment of cancer. The current treatment is expensive and has several side effects. Also, over time, cancer cells develop resistance to chemotherapy, due to which there is a demand for new drugs. Drug repurposing is a novel approach that focuses on finding new applications for the old clinically approved drugs. Current advances in the high-dimensional multiomics landscape, especially proteomics, genomics, and computational omics-data analysis, have facilitated drug repurposing. The drug repurposing approach provides cheaper, effective, and safe drugs with fewer side effects and fastens the process of drug development. The review further delineates each repurposed drug’s original indication and mechanism of action in cancer. Along with this, the article also provides insight upon artificial intelligence and its application in drug repurposing. Clinical trials are vital for determining medication safety and effectiveness, and hence the clinical studies for each repurposed medicine in cancer, including their stages, status, and National Clinical Trial (NCT) identification, are reported in this review article. Various emerging evidences imply that repurposing drugs is critical for the faster and more affordable discovery of anti-cancerous drugs, and the advent of artificial intelligence-based computational tools can accelerate the translational cancer-targeting pipeline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1158
Number of pages20
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibacterial drugs (antibiotics)
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • COX inhibitor (NSAIDs)
  • Cancer
  • Drug repurposing
  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins)
  • Metformin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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