Systems biology based drug repositioning for development of cancer therapy
Review article, 2021

Drug repositioning is a powerful method that can assists the conventional drug discovery process by using existing drugs for treatment of a disease rather than its original indication. The first examples of repurposed drugs were discovered serendipitously, however data accumulated by high-throughput screenings and advancements in computational biology methods have paved the way for rational drug repositioning methods. As chemotherapeutic agents have notorious side effects that significantly reduce quality of life, drug repositioning promises repurposed noncancer drugs with little or tolerable adverse effects for cancer patients. Here, we review current drug-related data types and databases including some examples of web-based drug repositioning tools. Next, we describe systems biology approaches to be used in drug repositioning for effective cancer therapy. Finally, we highlight examples of mostly repurposed drugs for cancer treatment and provide an overview of future expectations in the field for development of effective treatment strategies.


Systems biology

Drug repositioning

Network-based approaches

Signature-based approaches


Beste Turanli

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Istanbul Medeniyet University

Marmara University

Ozlem Altay

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Jan Borén

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Hasan Turkez

Erzurum Technical University

Jens B Nielsen

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Mathias Uhlen

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Kazim Y. Arga

Marmara University

Adil Mardinoglu

King's College London

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Seminars in Cancer Biology

1044-579X (ISSN) 1096-3650 (eISSN)

Vol. 68 47-58

Subject Categories

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology

Social and Clinical Pharmacy





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