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Keywords:

  • Alzheimer’s disease;
  • brain cancer;
  • drug discovery

Abstract

It was recently reported that female survivors of breast cancer have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This observation led to the hypothesis that there is a link between cancer and AD. This Viewpoint provides an analysis of the consequences of this hypothesis, not only from the perspective of drug discovery for new treatments, but above all, the awareness that any AD chemotherapy will require drug administration over longer periods of time before any cognitive effects are observed. Because such drugs will probably act as neuroprotective agents, slowing the progression of AD rather than curing it, they should be prescribed as soon as the first AD symptoms are detected. After a general survey of anticancer drugs that have potential therapeutic value for AD chemotherapy, new drugs that could affect specific signal transduction pathways known to be activated by anticancer drugs are presented, with the unfolding protein response pathway being one of the most relevant biological targets for new AD chemotherapeutic agents.