Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Repositioning canakinumab for non-small cell lung cancer—important lessons for drug repurposing in oncology


Canakinumab is an anti-interleukin-1β monoclonal antibody approved for use in a range of immune-related disorders. During the clinical investigation (CANTOS trial) for prevention of cardiovascular complications, therapy was linked to a reduction in both the occurrence and mortality of lung cancer. This unexpected observation fuelled the rapid initiation of four large clinical trials to evaluate potential anticancer efficacy (in combination with chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy), before fully validating these observations in a dedicated study. The first two trials (CANOPY-1 and 2) have now been reported and have both have failed to meet their primary efficacy endpoints. In this article, we explore the scientific and clinical rationale behind the development of canakinumab in oncology, the repurposing approach utilised and implications this may have for the wider drug repurposing field in the development of new cancer medicines.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View