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New collaboration between MedSIR and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

We are thrilled to announce the result of a new collaboration between MedSIR and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in the research on the mechanism of PARP inhibitors resistance in an ovarian cancer study with title “PARP Inhibitor-induced Autophagy provides an Adaptive Mechanism of Drug Resistance”.

Breast cancers can recur after removal of the primary tumor and treatment to eliminate remaining tumor cells. Recurrence may occur after long periods of time during which there are no clinical symptoms. Tumor cell dormancy may explain these prolonged periods of asymptomatic residual disease and treatment resistance.

This research project revealed that treatment of ovarian cancer cells with the PARP inhibitor olaparib induced autophagy, which is a cellular survival mechanism that decreases cell death, increases cancer-cell survival, and is frequently associated with drug resistance. Paired pre- and post-olaparib treatment biopsies from patients recruited in the POLEN study –a Preoperative Olaparib Endometrial Carcinoma Study promoted by MedSIR– have been used to demonstrate that the olaparib-induced autophagy represents an adaptive mechanism of resistance by which ovarian cancer cells grow and survive the cytotoxic effects of PARP inhibitors. For the first time, the authors showed that the inhibition of autophagy enhanced cytotoxicity and increased the therapeutic efficacy of olaparib. Taken together, these findings suggest the combinative use of PARP inhibitors with anti-autophagic drugs as a new strategy to improve the outcomes of patients with ovarian cancer.

Our newest paper in the journal Cancer is now published online!

From MedSIR, we would like to thank all the investigators for their participation in this project and special thanks to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for the opportunity to contribute in improving the clinical benefit of patients with ovarian cancer.




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