Antimalarial drugs found to have potential to fight cancer

antimalarial drugs found to have potential to fight cancer

A review-based research on 190 studies investigated the effect of chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on cancer cells. The study revealed the effect of these drugs on the sensitivity of the cancerous cells towards the treatment procedures.

Ciska Verbaanderd and her colleagues at the University of Leuven in Belgium said that more research is needed to find the role of the medicines on different types of cancers.

According to the statistics, the death rate due to cancer has fallen, but the disease is persistent as a burden to the public health. The data from the last year reported that there were more than 1.6 million new cancer cases diagnosed and more than 595000 deaths due to cancer.

The researchers said that the drugs chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) are effective in treating cancer. These drugs are basically used for treating malaria, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and so forth. And, it was suggested that these drugs can proved to be effective anti-cancer drugs.


By the end of the review, it was reported that chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) are efficient in treating a variety of cancers like glioblastoma, brain cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.

Researchers said that the two drugs have been examined in a number of preclinical models of cancer. They also added that both the drugs indicated activity on some cancer-supporting pathways, especially when used in combination with a wide range of other treatments.

The drugs act as inhibitors and block the CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling pathway, which is concerned with cancer progression. Also, CQ stabilizes the protein – p53 – a tumor suppressor and normalizes dysfunction of blood vessels in tumors.