Drug repositioning has gained attention from both academia and pharmaceutical companies as an auxiliary process to conventional drug discovery. Chemotherapeutic agents have notorious adverse effects that drastically reduce the life quality of cancer patients so drug repositioning is a promising strategy to identify non-cancer drugs which have anti-cancer activity as well as tolerable adverse effects for human health. There are various strategies for discovery and validation of repurposed drugs. In this review, 25 repurposed drug candidates are presented as result of different strategies, 15 of which are already under clinical investigation for treatment of prostate cancer (PCa). To date, zoledronic acid is the only repurposed, clinically used, and approved non-cancer drug for PCa. Anti-cancer activities of existing drugs presented in this review cover diverse and also known mechanisms such as inhibition of mTOR and VEGFR2 signaling, inhibition of PI3K/Akt signaling, COX and selective COX-2 inhibition, NF-κB inhibition, Wnt/β-Catenin pathway inhibition, DNMT1 inhibition, and GSK-3β inhibition. In addition to monotherapy option, combination therapy with current anti-cancer drugs may also increase drug efficacy and reduce adverse effects. Thus, drug repositioning may become a key approach for drug discovery in terms of time- and cost-efficiency comparing to conventional drug discovery and development process.
Keywords: approved drugs; drug repositioning; non-cancer therapeutics; prostate cancer; repurposing.