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Toward fully exploiting the therapeutic potential of marketed pharmaceuticals: the use of octreotide and chloroquine in oncology

Authors Papanagnou P, Papadopoulos GE, Stivarou T, Pappas A

Received 5 August 2018

Accepted for publication 20 November 2018

Published 31 December 2018 Volume 2019:12 Pages 319—339


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Carlos E Vigil

Panagiota Papanagnou,1,* Georgios E Papadopoulos,2,* Theodora Stivarou,3 Anastasios Pappas1

1Department of Urology, Agios Savvas Cancer Hospital, Athens 11522, Greece; 2Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly, Larissa 41500, Greece; 3Immunology Laboratory, Immunology Department, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Athens, Greece

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Pleiotropy in biological systems and their targeting allows many pharmaceuticals to be used for multiple therapeutic purposes. Fully exploiting the therapeutic properties of drugs that are already marketed would be highly advantageous. This is especially the case in the field of oncology, where the ineffectiveness of typical anticancer agents is a common issue, while the development of novel anticancer agents is a costly and particularly time-consuming process. Octreotide and chloroquine are two pharmaceuticals that exhibit profound antitumorigenic activities. However, the current therapeutic use of octreotide is restricted primarily to the ma­nagement of acromegaly and neuroendocrine tumors, both of which are rare medical conditions. Similarly, chloroquine is used mainly for the treatment of malaria, which is designated as a rare disease in Western countries. This limited exploitation contradicts the experimental findings of numerous studies outlining the possible expansion of the use of octreotide to include the treatment of common human malignancies and the repositioning of chloroquine in oncology. Herein, we review the current knowledge on the antitumor function of these two agents stemming from preclinical or clinical experimentation. In addition, we present in silico evidence on octreotide potentially binding to multiple Wnt-pathway components. This will hopefully aid in the design of new efficacious anticancer therapeutic regimens with minimal toxicity, which represents an enormous unmet demand in oncology.

Keywords: drug repositioning, pleiotropy, neuroendocrine tumors, lysosomotropic agent, cancer, docking

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