Evaluating the benefits of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors as cancer treatments Academic Article uri icon


  • G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest and most diverse group of cellular membrane receptors identified and characterized. It is estimated that 30 to 50% of marketed drugs target these receptors. The angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1R) is a GPCR which signals in response to systemic alterations of the peptide hormone angiotensin II (AngII) in circulation. The enzyme responsible for converting AngI to AngII is the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Specific inhibitors for the AT1R (more commonly known as AT1R blockers or antagonists) and ACE are well characterized for their effects on the cardiovascular system. Combined with the extensive clinical data available on patient tolerance of AT1R blockers (ARBs) and ACE inhibitors (ACEIs), as well as their non-classical roles in cancer, the notion of repurposing this class of medications as cancer treatment(s) is explored in the current review. Given that AngII-dependent AT1R activity directly regulates angiogenesis, remodeling of vasculature, pro-inflammatory responses, stem cell programming and hematopoiesis, and electrolyte balance; the modulation of these processes with pharmacologically well characterized medications could present a valuable complementary treatment option for cancer patients.

publication date

  • July 1, 2020