The emerging role of FTY720 (Fingolimod) in cancer treatment

Oncotarget. 2016 Apr 26;7(17):23106-27. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.7145.


FTY720 (Fingolimod) is a clinically approved immunomodulating therapy for multiple sclerosis that sequesters T-cells to lymph nodes through functional antagonism of sphingosine-1-phosphate 1 receptor. FTY720 also demonstrates a proven efficacy in multiple in vitro and in vivo cancer models, suggesting a potential therapeutic role in cancer patients. A potential anticancer mechanism of FTY720 is through the inhibition of sphingosine kinase 1, a proto-oncogene with in vitro and clinical cancer association. In addition, FTY720's anticancer properties may be attributable to actions on several other molecular targets. This study focuses on reviewing the emerging evidence regarding the anticancer properties and molecular targets of FTY720. While the clinical transition of FTY720 is currently limited by its immune suppression effects, studies aiming at FTY720 delivery and release together with identifying its key synergetic combinations and relevant patient subsets may lead to its rapid introduction into the clinic.

Keywords: FTY720; cancer; fingolimod; sphingolipid; sphingosine kinase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fingolimod Hydrochloride / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Fingolimod Hydrochloride