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Open AccessConcept Paper

Research Perspective: Potential Role of Nitazoxanide in Ovarian Cancer Treatment. Old Drug, New Purpose?

Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
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Cancers 2013, 5(3), 1163-1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers5031163
Received: 31 July 2013 / Revised: 29 August 2013 / Accepted: 4 September 2013 / Published: 10 September 2013
Among gynecological malignancies epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the leading cause of death. Despite improvements in conventional chemotherapy combinations, the overall cure rate has remained mostly stable over the years, and only 10%–15% of patients maintain a complete response following first-line therapy. To improve the efficacy of ovarian cancer chemotherapy it is essential to develop drugs with new mechanisms of action. Compared to normal tissues, protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is overexpressed in ovarian tumors. PDI is a cellular enzyme in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of eukaryotes or the periplasmic region of prokaryotes. This protein catalyzes the formation and breakage of disulphide bonds between cysteine residues in proteins, which affects protein folding. Selective inhibition of PDI activity has been exhibited both in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity in human ovarian cancer models. PDI inhibition caused accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins, which led to ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR), and in turn resulted in cell death. Nitazoxanide [NTZ: 2-acetyloxy-N-(5-nitro-2-thiazolyl)benzamide] is a thiazolide antiparasitic agent with excellent activity against a wide variety of protozoa and helminths. In this article, we propose that NTZ, acting as PDI inhibitor, may be a new and potent addition to the chemotherapeutic strategy against ovarian cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: ovarian cancer; autophagy; protein disulfide isomerase; nitazoxanide ovarian cancer; autophagy; protein disulfide isomerase; nitazoxanide
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Di Santo, N.; Ehrisman, J. Research Perspective: Potential Role of Nitazoxanide in Ovarian Cancer Treatment. Old Drug, New Purpose? Cancers 2013, 5, 1163-1176.

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