Ongoing new insights in the field of cancer diagnostics, genomic profiling, and cancer behavior have raised the demand for novel, personalized cancer treatments. As the development of new cancer drugs is a challenging, costly, and time-consuming endeavor, drug repurposing is regarded as an attractive alternative to potentially accelerate this. In this review, we describe strategies for drug repurposing of anticancer agents, translation of preclinical findings in novel trial designs, and associated challenges. Furthermore, we provide suggestions to further utilize the potential of drug repurposing within precision oncology, with a focus on combinatorial approaches.


Oncologic drug development is a timely and costly endeavor, with only few compounds progressing to meaningful therapy options. Although repurposing of existing agents for novel, oncologic indications provides an opportunity to accelerate this process, it is not without challenges.

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