Nelfinavir trade name Viracept (Pfizer) was approved by the FDA in 1997 as a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) therapeutic. It’s anti-HIV mechanism of action is based upon inhibiting the virus’ aspartate protease . HIV protease inhibitors including Nelfinavir have been demonstrated to inhibit the Akt pathway of cancer cell lines including pancreatic and sensitise mouse tumour xenografts to radiation therapy . Nelfinavir inhibits in vivo tumor model growth and upregulates markers of ER stress, autophagy and apoptosis . Cell death mediated by autophagy and ER stress (immunogenic cell death) is associated with immune responses against cancer .
Nelfinavir has entered a number of clinical trials for pancreatic cancer with, so far, promising but statistically low power results .
Clinical Trials .gov links
EU Clinical Trials Register links
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