Drug repurposing is a method of drug discovery that consists of finding a new therapeutic context for an old drug. Compound identification arises from screening of large libraries of active compounds, through interrogating databases of cell line gene expression response upon treatment or by merging several types of information concerning disease–drug relationships. Although, there is a general consensus on the potential and advantages of this drug discovery modality, at the practical level to-date no non-anti-cancer repurposed compounds have been introduced into standard acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) management, albeit that preclinical validation yielded several candidates. The review presents the state-of-the-art drug repurposing approach in AML and poses the question of what has to be done in order to take a full advantage of it, both at the stage of screening design and later when progressing from the preclinical to the clinical phases of drug development. We argue that improvements are needed to model and read-out systems as well as to screening technologies, but also to more funding and trust in drug repurposing strategies.
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