Cimetidine (Tagamet) May Have Anti-Cancer Properties

Dr. Pan Pantziarka Anticancer Fund, Brussels Belgium The George Pantziarka TP53 Trust, London, Interview with:
Dr. Pan Pantziarka
Anticancer Fund, Brussels Belgium
The George Pantziarka TP53 Trust, London, UK

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Pantziarka: The background of this study is that it is part of a series of investigations by the Repurposing Drugs in Oncology (ReDO) project into well-known non-cancer drugs which have evidence of activity that may be useful in cancer therapies. These drugs include mebendazole, itraconazole, diclofenac, nitroglycerin and cimetidine.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?

Dr. Pantziarka: The main finding from this paper is that there exists sufficient pre-clinical and clinical evidence of a positive effect of cimetidine in cancer. In partciular there is evidence of positive effect on overall survival if used peri-operatively at the time of curative resection of colorectal cancer. Additionally we outline the multiple mechanisms of action of cimetidine in cancer, which includes several different effects on the immune system. Finally we propose a series of drug combinations with cimetidine for different cancer types.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Pantziarka: The big take home from this paper is that cimetidine has multiple positive effects in cancer. The toxicity is very low and the cost is also small. Clinicians have the evidence summarised for them in our paper so that they can evaluate whether the addition of cimetidine to a patient’s therapy is warranted.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Pantziarka: We believe that clinical trials of cimetidine as a perioperative addition to therapy is warranted in a number of cancers, including colorectal, breast, NSCLC, osteosarcoma, ovarian, pancreatic. Additionally there is some evidence of effect in melanoma, RCC, gastric cancer and glioblastoma.


Repurposing drugs in oncology (ReDO)—Cimetidine as an anti-cancer agent
Pan Pantziarka, Gauthier Bouche, Lydie Meheus, Vidula Sukhatme and Vikas P Sukhatme
ecancer 8 485 / DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2014.485

Last Updated on December 2, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD