Journal of Developing Drugs

Journal of Developing Drugs
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-6631



Repositioning an Old Anti-Alcoholism Drug: Disulfiram as a Selective, Effective and Economical Anticancer Agent

Claire Soave, Maricela Viola-Rhenals, Yasmine Karam Elghoul, Tao Peng and Q. Ping Dou

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.