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    Cancer morbidity and mortality rates remain high, and thus, at present, considerable efforts are focused on finding drugs with higher sensitivity against tumor cells and fewer side effects. Disulfiram (DSF), as an anti-alcoholic drug, kills the cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. Several preclinical and clinical studies have examined the potential of repurposing DSF as an anticancer treatment. This systematic review aimed to assess evidence regarding the antineoplastic activity of DSF in in vitro and in vivo models, as well as in humans. Two authors independently conducted this systematic review of English and Chinese articles from the PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases up to July 2019. Eligible in vitro studies needed to include assessments of the apoptosis rate by flow cytometry using annexin V/propidium iodide, and studies in animal models and clinical trials needed to examine tumor inhibition rates, and progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), respectively. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Overall, 35 studies, i.e., 21 performed in vitro, 11 based on animal models, and three clinical trials, were finally included. In vitro and animal studies indicated that DSF was associated with enhanced apoptosis and tumor inhibition rates, separately. Human studies showed that DSF prolongs PFS and OS. The greatest anti-tumor activity was observed when DSF was used as combination therapy or as a nanoparticle-encapsulated molecule. There was no noticeable body weight loss after DSF treatment, which indicated that there was no major toxicity of DSF. This systematic review provides evidence regarding the anti-tumor activity of DSF in vitro, in animals, and in humans and indicates the optimal forms of treatment to be evaluated in future research. © 2022. The Author(s).


    Ling Wang, Yang Yu, Cong Zhou, Run Wan, Yumin Li. Anticancer effects of disulfiram: a systematic review of in vitro, animal, and human studies. Systematic reviews. 2022 Jun 02;11(1):109

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    PMID: 35655266

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