PARP inhibitors working against inherited cancers

PARP inhibitors working against inherited cancers

Summary: The big excitement is that PARP inhibitors can be designed against other forms of inherited cancer. They are already being tested against a form of breast cancer. And there are few side effects -- you take a pill twice a day and may get some indigestion.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Health
3

If a genetic condition leads to cancer there is new hope in a class of drugs called PARP inhibitors.

Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase (PARP) is a protein cells use to repair genetic injuries naturally. But cancer cells also use this protein to repair their own DNA damage. Inhibiting this action allows chemotherapy and radiation to do its job against cancers resulting from genetic mutation.

In a study causing much excitement in the cancer-fighting world (CBS called this the "holy grail" of cancer research, thus the French Taunter above) scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, England gave 19 patients with advanced cancers caused by mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes a PARP inhibitor and over half saw their tumors shrink or stop growing.

The drug had no effect on 41 patients whose tumors were not the result of the genetic defect.

The big excitement is that PARP inhibitors can be designed against other forms of inherited cancer. They are already being tested against a form of breast cancer. And there are few side effects -- you take a pill twice a day and may get some indigestion.

The new drug has the name olaparib. The full article is now in front of the New England Journal of Medicine firewall.

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, which worked with the Netherlands Cancer Institute and drug maker KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, now owned by AstraZeneca, is a charitable group affiliated with that nation's National Health Service. They would welcome your contribution.

Topic: Health

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Inherited Cancer

    Since there is no such thing as inherited cancer, the article should have read "for those genetically predisposed towards cancer". Current studies indicate everyone has cancer, but most people never experience adverse effects from it because their immune systems do not allow it to propagate.

    If you have a single anaerobic cell in your body, you have cancer, but most of us have immune systems that seek out and destroy such cells before they reproduce.

    Prior to WWII, cancer was a rarity, and prior to the 1940s, was even cured by several different methods made illegal by the AMA/FDA consortium.

    It doesn't take much research to figure out what changed from 1940 to 1980 that caused the government to declare a "War" on cancer that has spent billions and accomplished little.

    Fix the conditions causing the cancers, you have won the war. Fight the cancers with drugs, you lose the war.
    jackmason
  • RE: PARP inhibitors working against inherited cancers

    Does anyone know how they can become candidates for trial on this new drug? Please advise. Thanks!
    Shalom777@...
  • RE: PARP inhibitors working against inherited cancers

    I have a friend that just got diagnosted whith lymphod cancer.will this stuff help him or not. I don't know if it is inherited or not. but they are saying they might have to do a bone morrow transplant. that would suck so would this stuff help him
    helpsomeone