© 2013, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Since it was first described more than 50 years ago, autophagy has been examined in many contexts, from cell survival to pathogen sequestration and removal. In more recent years, our understanding of autophagy has developed sufficiently to allow effective targeted therapeutics to be developed against various diseases. The field of autophagy research is expanding rapidly, demonstrated by increases in both numbers of investigators in the field and the breadth of topics being addressed. Some diseases, such as the many types of cancer, have come to the fore in autophagy therapeutics research as a better understanding of their underlying mechanisms has surfaced. Numerous treatments are being developed and explored, from creative applications of the classic autophagy modulators chloroquine and rapamycin, to repurposing drugs approved for other treatments, such as astemizole, which is currently in use as an antimalarial and chronic rhinitis treatment. The landscape of autophagy modulation in disease therapy is rapidly changing and this review hopes to provide a cross section of the current state of the field.