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A Second WNT for Old Drugs: Drug Repositioning against WNT-Dependent Cancers

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne 1011, Switzerland
School of Biomedicine, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok 690922, Russia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Renée van Amerongen and Walter Birchmeier
Cancers 2016, 8(7), 66;
Received: 28 May 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 14 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wnt Signaling in Cancer)
Aberrant WNT signaling underlies cancerous transformation and growth in many tissues, such as the colon, breast, liver, and others. Downregulation of the WNT pathway is a desired mode of development of targeted therapies against these cancers. Despite the urgent need, no WNT signaling-directed drugs currently exist, and only very few candidates have reached early phase clinical trials. Among different strategies to develop WNT-targeting anti-cancer therapies, repositioning of existing drugs previously approved for other diseases is a promising approach. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, the anti-leprotic clofazimine, and the anti-trypanosomal suramin are among examples of drugs having recently revealed WNT-targeting activities. In total, 16 human-use drug compounds have been found to be working through the WNT pathway and show promise for their prospective repositioning against various cancers. Advances, hurdles, and prospects of developing these molecules as potential drugs against WNT-dependent cancers, as well as approaches for discovering new ones for repositioning, are the foci of the current review. View Full-Text
Keywords: approved drugs; WNT pathway; repositioning approved drugs; WNT pathway; repositioning
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Ahmed, K.; Shaw, H.V.; Koval, A.; Katanaev, V.L. A Second WNT for Old Drugs: Drug Repositioning against WNT-Dependent Cancers. Cancers 2016, 8, 66.

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