Microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase 1 (mPGES-1) is recognized as a promising target for a next generation of anti-inflammatory drugs that are not expected to have the side effects of currently available anti-inflammatory drugs. Lapatinib, an FDA-approved drug for cancer treatment, has recently been identified as an mPGES-1 inhibitor. But the efficacy of lapatinib as an analgesic remains to be evaluated. In the present clinical data mining (CDM) study, we have collected and analyzed all lapatinib-related clinical data retrieved from clinicaltrials.gov. Our CDM utilized a meta-analysis protocol, but the clinical data analyzed were not limited to the primary and secondary outcomes of clinical trials, unlike conventional meta-analyses. All the pain-related data were used to determine the numbers and odd ratios (ORs) of various forms of pain in cancer patients with lapatinib treatment. The ORs, 95% confidence intervals, and P values for the differences in pain were calculated and the heterogeneous data across the trials were evaluated. For all forms of pain analyzed, the patients received lapatinib treatment have a reduced occurrence (OR 0.79; CI 0.70–0.89; P = 0.0002 for the overall effect). According to our CDM results, available clinical data for 12,765 patients enrolled in 20 randomized clinical trials indicate that lapatinib therapy is associated with a significant reduction in various forms of pain, including musculoskeletal pain, bone pain, headache, arthralgia, and pain in extremity, in cancer patients. Our CDM results have demonstrated the significant analgesic effects of lapatinib, suggesting that lapatinib may be repurposed as a novel type of analgesic.

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Published in Scientific Reports, v. 11, issue 1, article no. 3528.

© The Author(s) 2021

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This work was supported in part by the funding of the Molecular Modeling and Biopharmaceutical Center (MMBC) at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH Grant P20 GM130456), and the National Science Foundation (NSF Grant CHE-1111761).

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