Scientists have identified a mutation that gives cancer cells resistance to the breakthrough cancer treatment olaparib and other PARP inhibitors.
The study findings could help predict which patients will develop resistance to PARP inhibitors and allow doctors to alter treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.
A team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, used gene editing to identify a specific mutation in the PARP1 protein that prevents PARP inhibitors from working.
Testing for this mutation could add another level of personalisation to an already targeted treatment – helping guide decisions about whether to use PARP inhibitors in the first place, and when to switch to other drugs, such as platinum-based therapies.
The research was funded by Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Now, and is published today (Thursday) in the journal Nature Communications.
PARP1 is crucial for the repair of damaged DNA and is an important target for olaparib and other PARP inhibitors. These drugs are especially effective in patients who already have weaknesses in DNA repair because of inherited errors in the BRCA genes – a discovery that was made at the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).
The scientists used new ‘CRIPSR-Cas9’ gene editing technology
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