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Oncotarget. 2014 Jul 15;5(13):4929-34.

Thioridazine inhibits angiogenesis and tumor growth by targeting the VEGFR-2/PI3K/mTOR pathway in ovarian cancer xenografts.

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Research Institute, National Cancer Center, 323, Ilsan-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.


Thioridazine, a member of the phenothiazine family, is a powerful anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic drug. It can also suppress the growth of several types of tumor in vitro. In the current study, we evaluated the direct anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic effects of thioridazine in vivo. The injection of thioridazine into human ovarian tumor xenografts in nude mice significantly inhibited tumor growth by ~fivefold, and also decreased tumor vascularity. In addition, thioridazine inhibited the phosphorylation of the signaling molecules downstream of phosphatidylinositol-3'-kinase (PI3K), including Akt, phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1), and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), during ovarian tumor progression via vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2). These results provide convincing evidence that thioridazine regulates endothelial cell function and subsequent angiogenesis by inhibiting VEGFR-2/PI3K/mTOR signal transduction. Collectively, these results strongly suggest that thioridazine might be a novel anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic agent for use in ovarian cancer.

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