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Papers of the Week

2021 May 11

Int Immunopharmacol


Preclinical and clinical studies into the bioactivity of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) for oncotherapy.


Qu N, Meng Y, Handley MK, Wang C, Shan F
Int Immunopharmacol. 2021 May 11; 96:107714.
PMID: 33989971.


Naltrexone (NTX) is a nonspecific opioid antagonist that exerts pharmacological effects on the opioid axis by blocking opioid receptors distributed in cytoplastic and nuclear regions. NTX has been used in opioid use disorder (OUD), immune-associated diseases, alcoholism, obesity, and chronic pain for decades. However, low-dose naltrexone (LDN) also exhibits remarkable inhibition of DNA synthesis, viability, and other functions in numerous cancers and is involved in immune remodeling against tumor invasion and chemical toxicity. The potential anticancer activity of LDN is a focus of basic research. Herein, we summarize the associated studies on LDN oncotherapy to highlight the potential mechanisms and prospective clinical applications.