Repurposing Drugs for Metastatic Melanoma Treatment

Sometimes, you have all of the tools you need to solve a problem and you don’t even know it. That’s because you need to get creative and use those tools in ways other than originally intended.

That is exactly what researchers are doing to treat metastatic melanoma. They are looking to drugs used to treat other diseases with surprising results.

Two university studies were recently published that repurposed FDA-approved medications to treat melanoma.

FDA-Approved Leukemia Drug

For a vast majority of patients treated with BRAF/MEK inhibitor cocktails, the drugs can stop working after about a year. A sort of resistance is built up.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky were able to overcome that treatment resistance using an existing FDA-approved drug. Medication used for more than a decade to treat leukemia could greatly improve the effectiveness of metastatic melanoma.

New Class of Sedatives

Related to Valium and Xanax, this new class of sedatives could boost the results of radiation and immunotherapy treatments, while reducing toxic side effects.

Early studies at the University of Cincinnati saw tumors shrink or even disappear in animal subjects given the sedatives during traditional cancer treatment.


Thanks to creative thinking, these initial findings could lead to unlocking the full healing power of medications already in your local pharmacy.