© StockSnap.io

Scientists at the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the USA have tested thousands of non-cancer medicines in hundreds of different types of cancer cell in the laboratory to see if they can be used to treat cancer.

They tested drugs that are currently licensed to treat conditions such as diabetes, inflammation, alcoholism in humans, and even arthritis in dogs, and discovered that some of these medicines can also kill cancer cells in the laboratory. The researchers systematically analysed thousands of medicines and found nearly 50 that have previously unrecognised anti-cancer activity. The surprising findings, which also revealed some novel mechanisms of action and some new drug targets, may help to accelerate the development of new cancer drugs or repurpose existing drugs to treat cancer.

Read more on the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard website here