Repositioning an Old Anti-Alcoholism Drug: Disulfiram as a Selective, Effective and Economical Anticancer Agent
- *Corresponding Author:
- Q. Ping Dou
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Departments of Oncology
Pharmacology and Pathology
School of Medicine
Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: May 27, 2016; Accepted date: May 28, 2016; Published date: May 31, 2016
Citation: Soave C, Rhenals MV, Elghoul YK, Peng T, Dou QP (2016) Repositioning an Old Anti-Alcoholism Drug: Disulfiram as a Selective, Effective and Economical Anticancer Agent. J Develop Drugs 5:e147. doi:10.4172/2329-6631.1000e147
Copyright: © 2016 Soave C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Disulfiram (tetra ethyl thiuram disulfide, or DSF), is a disulfide derivative of N, N-diethyl dithiocarbamate (DEDTC). DSF is an FDA approved drug for the treatment of alcoholism, and at low doses continues to be a useful treatment option for those suffering from the disease. DSF is a member of the dithiocarbamate family, and is thus a metal chelator. Many cancer cells have elevated levels of copper, a metal to which DSF can bind. Thus, DSF is of great interest in cancer research as an antitumor agent, as studies suggest the DSF-copper complex may be cytotoxic to cancer cells. This could allow for targeting of some types of cancer cells with elevated copper levels by DSF.