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Dr. Matteo Trucco, from Cleveland Clinic Children’s, has launched a sarcoma clinical trial. This clinical trial, based in the USA, aims to see if a drug called disulfiram could be repurposed to be used in sarcoma treatment. Sarcomas are a group of cancers which include osteosarcoma.  

What is drug repurposing?

Drug repurposing involves finding a use for a drug outside what it was originally intended for. It has the potential to speed up and reduce the cost of treatment discovery. This is because there is already data on the safety of the drug, so trials can get started more quickly.

The Clinical Trial

Dr Trucco’s trial is an example of drug repurposing. It involves the licenced drug disulfiram. Disulfiram is a drug that is used to treat alcoholism. It works by blocking an enzyme that breaks down alcohol. If you drink alcohol while on disulfiram it makes you feel ill. This same enzyme may be involved in cancer resistance to chemotherapy. As chemotherapy is often the first line treatment used in sarcoma and there are currently limited other options, it’s very important to overcome any barriers that stop chemotherapy from working.  This trial will see whether giving disulfiram alongside chemotherapy may make it more effective at killing cancer cells.

We were pleased to talk to Dr Trucco about the trial and drug repurposing. Watch the video below or read the transcript.

Who can take part in the clinical trial?

This clinical trial is currently recruiting. It is open to people with sarcoma that has returned or not responded to treatment. Clinical trials have very specific criteria for who can take part. You can find out more about this trial in our clinical trial explorer (ONTEX). You should also talk to your doctor about clinical trials, as they will know your case best and be able to advise if a trial may be suitable.

Please note that this trial is based in the USA. Different countries have different healthcare systems, so it is not always possible to access a trial in another country. This is something that can be discussed with your doctor.

For more information about clinical trials visit our clinical trial toolkit. Here you can find information about clinical trials including commonly asked questions.