PHILADELPHIA -- A second look at compounds and drugs, some previously used to treat illness and conditions ranging from malaria to contraception, is giving new life to several abandoned therapies and new applications for existing drugs.
From drugs such as the cottonseed extract gossypol, once tested as a male contraceptive in China, to arsenic, which can be made less toxic in an organic form, new applications are being investigated for effectiveness against solid tumors of various types.
A press briefing features at the "Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics" International Conference here is spotlighting a few of these compounds and drugs that are undergoing recycling as possible cancer treatments.
Thalidomide, a notorious drug once linked to birth defects that is undergoing patient testing in combination with a growth factor against prostate cancer.
A drug developed as an insecticide now helping scientists to understand the microtubule assembly process that is important for pancreatic cancer cell growth.
Gossypol, once touted as a potential male contraceptive, may find a new use -- helping certain head and neck cancers overcome their resistance to cisplatin.
An organic form of arsenic that is showing some potential as a treatment for solid tumors.
Drugs currently used around the globe to treat people infected with malaria may address a critical cell nutrition issue with proliferating cancer cells.
Phase II Trial of Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) plus Thalidomide in Patients with Hormone Nave Prostate Cancer (HNPC) (Abstract 3230)
A combination of two drugs already in use to treat certain cancers offers a potential strategy to treat prostate cancer without subjecting men to existing effective therapies that squelch the production of testosterone.