Susan Bates and Christina Annunziata looked at several recent papers on this form of treatment, which takes advantage of the synthetic lethality of BRCA (breast cancer susceptibility genes) and poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) proteins to attack cancerous cells whilst sparing healthy ones.
BRCA and PARP are two key players in DNA repair and have different but complementary functions in the cell. Loss of the BRCA protein still allows the cell to survive but greatly increases its chances of becoming cancerous through the accumulation of mutations. The loss of both proteins, however, kills the cell in a process called synthetic lethality.
Researchers, by using drugs to block the activity of PARP in cells missing BRCA, such as those found in certain breast and ovarian cancers, can help spare healthy, non-cancerous cells because they have functional BRCA and are not affected by the loss of PARP. Thus, only cancer cells without functional BRCA protein are killed by drugs that inhibit PARP.
Recent clinical trials have shown that cancers caused by mutations that knock out BRCA activity can be controlled by blocking PARP activity with specific drugs. Patients were treated with traditional anticancer drugs alone or in combination with one of two new PARP inhibitors, olaparib or BSI-201.
Bates notes that patients on combination therapy had improved "[disease] progression-free survival, and overall survival" as compared to patients treated with traditional drugs alone.
Bates is optimistic about the promise of combining PARP inhibitors with existing cancer drugs. She says that the results of these clinical trials "have provided proof of principle in achieving synthetic lethality" with PARP-inhibiting drugs and that treatments combining novel PARP inhibitors with traditional chemotherapeutic drugs have the potential to vanquish BRCA-associated breast and ovarian cancers.
1. Synthetic lethality is a concept in which blocking the activity of two proteins leads to cell death, but inhibition of either alone does not
2. Susan Bates, Faculty Member for Faculty of 1000 Biology, is the head of Molecular Therapeutics Section at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland http://f1000biology.com/about/biography/1203890420334349
3. The full text of this article is available for subscribers at http://f1000biology.com/reports/10.3410/B2-10/ or for reporters at http://faculty1000.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/bates-report.pdf
4. F1000 Biology Reports (ISSN 1757-594X) publishes short commentaries by the world's top scientists in which the hottest biology papers/clusters of papers identified by Faculty of 1000 are put into a broader context http://f1000biology.com/reports
5. Faculty of 1000 Biology, http://f1000biology.com, is a unique online service that helps scientists stay informed. Its distinguished international faculty of over 5000 top researchers elect, evaluate and provide opinion on key articles across the life sciences, creating an authoritative guide to the literature that matters
6. Please contact Steve Pogonowski, PR Manager, for a complimentary journalist subscription to Faculty of 1000 – firstname.lastname@example.orgMedia Contact
Steve Pogonowski | EurekAlert!
New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater spurs fat cell development
22.06.2018 | Duke University
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences
22.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences