Repurposing Drugs for Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Worthy Cause or a Futile Pursuit?

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Feb 13;12(2):441. doi: 10.3390/cancers12020441.


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a clinically and genetically heterogenous malignancy of myeloid progenitor cells that affects patients of all ages. Despite decades of research and improvement in overall outcomes, standard therapy remains ineffective for certain subtypes of AML. Current treatment is intensive and leads to a number of secondary effects with varying results by patient population. Due to the high cost of discovery and an unmet need for new targeted therapies that are well tolerated, alternative drug development strategies have become increasingly attractive. Repurposing existing drugs is one approach to identify new therapies with fewer financial and regulatory hurdles. In this review, we provide an overview of previously U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved non-chemotherapy drugs under investigation for the treatment of AML.

Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia; drug development; drug repurposing; mechanism of action; targeted therapies.

Publication types

  • Review