Repurposing anti-fungal Itraconazole as an anti-cancer agent

Repurposing anti-fungal Itraconazole as an anti-cancer agent

Itraconazole is a broad spectrum antifungal drug shown in various research studies to increase cancer-free progression, increase cancer survival and reduce chemo-resistance; it has effects against mTor and the AMPK pathway in many cancers

Itraconazole is a common antifungal drug developed in the 1980s and known to be safe. There is a review of its overall benefits here(2).

Itraconazole has recent phase II clinical trials on its ability to limit cancer progression and increase overall survival in non-small cell lung cancer, NSCLC(1),

There is also research against B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (3) showing that it also reduces 'chemo-resistance'. Several studies have shown the ability to block mTOR , prevent chemo-resistance and increase survival times (e.g. in Mantle Cell Lymphoma, often confused with NHL). In 2011 Benjamin Nacev showed that it inhibited VEGF and VEGFR.

It can be combined with chemotherapy and reduces chemo-resistance. Other studies show that it has an effect against both AMPK and mTOR, and also angiogenesis(4).

There was a 2013 Clinical Trial with prostate cancer that had spread. Progression -free survival increased and the results seemed dose dependent (600 mg per day producing 48% PFS; 200mg producing 11.8% at 24 weeks). A summary of the drug’s abilities to extend survival in prostate cancer in Phase II clinical trials is here:(5)

Several studies have also shown that this anti-fungal drug can inhibit the Hedgehog signalling pathway. What’s that? It’s the pathway (actually an array of signalling proteins) that turn (differentiate) embryonic cells into lung cells, kidney cells, liver cells etc. When the pathways goes wrong it can lead to chronic illness including cancer(6).

And research showing it can limit Cervical cancer spread(7).

There is research showing that Itraconazole can inhibit proliferation, AMPK and mTOR in endometrial cancer cells(8); and with breast cancer and TNBC(9).

Go to: 'Safe' Dipyridamole stops platelets helping cancer grow and spread

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References

  1. NSCLC - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206167/
  2. Review - https://www.spandidos-publications.com/ol/14/2/1240
  3. NHL - http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/128/22/5138
  4. mTOR and AMPK - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4703001/
  5. Prostate cancer - http://theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/content/18/2/163
  6. Review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406527/
  7. Cervical Cancer - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28668841
  8. Endometrial cancer - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28179296
  9. Breast cancer - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304383516306656
2019 Research
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