According to Manchester University, UK, a new class of drugs, called PARG inhibitors, have the ability of treating ovarian cancer and even stopping cancer cells from growing.
Published in the Journal Cancer Cell, a study funded by the Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust showed that treating ovarian cancer may come sooner than you think. According to the researchers at The University of Manchester the drugs, PARG inhibitors, can kill ovarian cancer cells by targeting weaknesses within their ability to copy their DNA.
Let’s talk treating ovarian cancer with the PARG inhibitor
The first-in-class PARG inhibitor PDD00017273, was discovered in the Drug Discovery Unit at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, part of The University of Manchester, as part of a targeted program to discover PARG inhibitors for the clinic.
This program is currently being progressed through a collaboration with IDEAYA Biosciences, Inc., an oncology-focused biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery of breakthrough synthetic lethality medicines and immuno-oncology therapies.
Causing more than 4,000 deaths each year
These findings are promising for patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which is the sixth most common cause of cancer in women in the UK and causes more than 4,000 deaths each year.
Lead scientist Professor Stephen Taylor from The University of Manchester explains: “Sadly, for the majority of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the cancer relapses within 12 to 18 months of their first treatment, and so there is a pressing need to develop new therapies to treat this condition.”
Scientists were able to screen ovarian cancer cells for specific genes that, when knocked out, would bring about PARG-inhibitor sensitivity. Through their work, the team identified the key genes that made cancer cells sensitive to PDD00017273 were those involved in DNA replication.
PhD student Nisha Pillay, provided valuable insight into how PARG inhibitors work. She said: “Before a cell divides, it must replicate its DNA. This critical process ensures the necessary amount of DNA is passed on to its daughter cells. Our research has shown that an inherent defect in the ability of an ovarian cancer cell to replicate its DNA can be exploited by the PARG inhibitor to kill the cancer cell”.
Treating ovarian cancer, along with other drugs
“This new class of drugs is potentially very exciting and could signal a new way to help patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer in which their tumour has not responded to standard treatments” adds Pillay.
The research team then went on to show that the PARG inhibitor can also be used in combination with other clinically accessible drugs, such as CHK1 and WEE1 inhibitors, to kill ovarian cancer cells that were taken directly from samples from patients treated at The Christie.
Dr. Robert Morgan, from The Christie, said: “We hope this work will provide further impetus for developing a PARG inhibitor for use in human trials, and also biomarkers that can be used to select the most appropriate patients to receive such treatments in the future”