Pharmaceutics 2023, 15, 83.

Drug Repurposing at the Interface of Melanoma Immunotherapy and Autoimmune Disease

Spitschak A, Gupta S, Singh KP, Logotheti S, Pützer BM
Cancer cells have a remarkable ability to evade recognition and destruction by the immune system. At the same time, cancer has been associated with chronic inflammation, while certain autoimmune diseases predispose to the development of neoplasia. Although cancer immunotherapy has revolutionized antitumor treatment, immune-related toxicities and adverse events detract from the clinical utility of even the most advanced drugs, especially in patients with both, metastatic cancer and pre-existing autoimmune diseases. Here, the combination of multi-omics, data-driven computational approaches with the application of network concepts enables in-depth analyses of the dynamic links between cancer, autoimmune diseases, and drugs. In this review, we focus on molecular and epigenetic metastasis-related processes within cancer cells and the immune microenvironment. With melanoma as a model, we uncover vulnerabilities for drug development to control cancer progression and immune responses. Thereby, drug repurposing allows taking advantage of existing safety profiles and established pharmacokinetic properties of approved agents. These procedures promise faster access and optimal management for cancer treatment. Together, these approaches provide new disease-based and data-driven opportunities for the prediction and application of targeted and clinically used drugs at the interface of immune-mediated diseases and cancer towards next-generation immunotherapies.
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