Developing novel drug candidates and repurposed drugs for prostate cancer based on molecular profiles

Curr Med Chem. 2021 May 25. doi: 10.2174/0929867328666210525162730. Online ahead of print.


Prostate cancer (PCa) carries a growing burden on society. Lack of curative treatment and poor prognosis among patients with advanced PCa implies an urgent need for novel and improved drug identification. This is hampered by the disease's high molecular heterogeneity and complex molecular pathophysiology, resulting in drugs being efficient in few patients and cancer developing resistance to treatment. De novo drug discovery has proven to be complex and challenging. Along with technological advancements (mainly linked to -omics approaches) that allow for comprehensive characterization of the molecular changes underlying disease, and considering respective developments in bioinformatics, computational drug repurposing has emerged as a promising approach to shorten the way from discovery to clinical application and address the disease molecular complexity. With this article, we aimed at reviewing recent studies in which drugs/ compounds for PCa were defined through the investigation of molecular profiling (-omics) data and application of drug repurposing strategies. A brief overview of the technical requirements and associated challenges with the latter are also provided. For that purpose, a literature search was conducted using the PubMed database. Numerous drugs/ compounds have been proposed as potential PCa therapeutics, mostly based on the investigation of genomics and transcriptomics data. In most cases, further assessment in disease models is required. Since ultimately proteins are targeted by drugs, expanding on the use of proteomics profiling data (alone or in combination with other -omics) is expected to advance further defining new/repurposed drugs for PCa.

Keywords: -omics; drug candidates; drug repurposing; molecular signature; personalized medicine; prostate cancer.