Therapeutic strategy of arsenic trioxide in the fight against cancers and other diseases
Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been recognized as a drug for the treatment of various diseases in traditional medicine for more than two thousand years. Although ATO has recently shown excellent efficacy for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), it could not provide satisfactory outcomes as a single-agent for the management of non-APL leukemia or different solid tumors. Nevertheless, combination treatment strategies, e.g., ATO with other agents, have shown promising results against different diseases. Here, we introduce in depth the latest evidence and detailed insights into ATO-mediated cures for APL by targeting PML/RARα chimeric protein, followed by the preclinical and clinical efficacy of ATO on various non-APL malignancies and solid tumors. Likewise, the antiviral activity of ATO against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) was also discussed briefly. Our review would provide a clear prospect for the combination of ATO with other agents for treatment of numerous neoplastic diseases, and open a new era in the clinically applicable range of arsenicals.