New study reveals insights into ovarian cancer drug resistance

16 August 2016

A new UK study has provided potentially useful new insights into the biological mechanisms by which ovarian cancer can develop resistance to common therapies.

Researchers from the University of Dundee have discovered that a gene called ABCB1 - which was previously known to play a role in the development of resistance to the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel in ovarian cancers - also causes resistance to other therapies.

For this study, they administered PARP inhibitor treatments to chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer cells grown in the lab, including olaparib and rucaparib. It was shown that the cells used ABCB1 to survive the treatment in the same way they do with paclitaxel.

However, the cells did not show the same immunity to veliparib and AZD2461, two alternative PARP inhibitor treatments.

Dr Gillian Smith, who led the research at the University of Dundee, said: "Our study shows an important resistance mechanism which is common to drugs used routinely in the clinic and to new drugs which are being tested in clinical trials.”

Better understanding of resistance mechanisms helps to support the development of new tests to identify signs of resistance, ensuring patients can receive the most appropriate drug for them. It could also lead to the creation of new, more effective therapies.

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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