Therapeutic effects of repurposed therapies in non-small cell lung cancer: What is old is new again

Ashish Saxena, Daniel Becker, Isabel Preeshagul, Karen Lee, Elena Katz, Benjamin Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The recent emergence of targeted and immunotherapeutic agents has dramatically changed the management for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Despite these advances, lung cancer is not exempt from the challenges facing oncology drug development, including the huge financial cost and the time required for drug implementation. Repositioning noncancer therapies with potential antineoplastic properties into new therapeutic niches is an alternative treatment strategy offering the possibility of saving money and time and improving outcomes. The goal of such a strategy is to deliver an effective drug with a favorable toxicity profile at a reduced cost. Preclinical models and observational data have demonstrated promising activity for many of these agents, and they are now being studied in prospective trials. We review the relevant published data regarding the therapeutic effects of metformin, statins, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, b-blockers, and itraconazole in NSCLC, with a focus on the putative mechanisms of action and clinical data. As these drugs are increasingly being tested in clinical trials, we aim to highlight the salient challenges and future strategies to optimize this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-945
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug repositioning
  • Itraconazole
  • Metformin
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • Statins
  • β-Blocker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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