We listed candidate drugs for innovative therapies in cervical cancer

We listed candidate drugs for innovative therapies in cervical cancer

In the news
15 November 2022

BRUSSELS  - Investigators of the Anticancer Fund, the Tata Memorial Centre (India) and the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute (the Netherlands) have documented a list of drugs as a potential source of therapies in cervical cancer. The list was a result of a comprehensive literature search. Their study has been published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer (BMJ).

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in terms in women worldwide. In countries with inadequate screening programs, it remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.

Scientists from the Advanced Centre for Treatment Research & Education in Cancer (ACTREC) of the Tata Memorial Centre (India), the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute (The Netherlands) and the Anticancer Fund performed a literature search to identify drug repurposing opportunities in cervical cancer, as they wanted to inform future research and trials.

Drug repurposing is an alternative pathway that uses the properties of drugs approved for other diseases and builds on available safety and pharmacological data to develop a drug as a potential treatment for other diseases.

The study resulted in a list of 38 potential drug candidates in cervical cancer. These drugs warrant further investigation, which could be done using platform trials for instance.

More than 500 drugs were screened

Of the more than 500 drugs that have been screened, we found data supporting a possible therapeutic role in cervical cancer for 38 of them. The list contains drugs already approved for other cancer indications as well as for non-cancer indications, for example, the antibiotic doxycycline or antipsychotic chlorpromazine”, mentions Rica Capistrano, Programme Director New Projects of the Anticancer Fund.

The paper published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer (BMJ) highlights the basic characteristics of these drug candidates, summarizes relevant data on cervical cancer, and lists the registered cervical cancer trials and main results of human data.

A repository of drugs to explore

For more than two decades, we have been awaiting a drug that improves survival in the definitive setting of cervical cancer. This repository of repurposed drugs database may provide future leads for investigating efficacy”, says Supriya Chopra of the ACTREC, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai.

There is a high unmet need for more effective treatments in cervical cancer. This project is the result of a unique collaboration between academia and Anticancer Fund, joining researchers from Europe and India, where cervical cancer is among the most frequent cancers. These results are important to help guide the community towards new opportunities for the treatment of cervical cancer,” adds Remi A Nout of the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute.

Read the publication here

More information

The Anticancer Fund is an acknowledged leader in drug repurposing - the strategy of reusing existing non-cancer drugs to treat cancer. One aspect of our work is the creation of a database of non-cancer drugs with published evidence of anticancer effects. Today, the curated list contains more than 360 drugs which can be further investigated in clinical research. 

Explore the database here