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An experimental breast cancer drug shows potential for treating lung cancer - drugdiscovery.com


An experimental breast cancer drug shows potential for treating lung cancer - drugdiscovery.com
Experimental drugs called PARP inhibitors, which are already in clinical trials for treating breast and ovarian cancer, could also be a promising treatment for a subset of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumours with a fault in one of the DNA repair mechanisms.

Experimental drugs developed for breast cancer could treat lung cancer too

Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) plays an important role in the repair of DNA single strand breaks occured upon reactions with toxic agents or ionizing radiation. Due to genomic instability, this enzyme is upregulated in a variety of malignant tumors, leading to resistance to DNA damaging anticancer therapies. Specific, small molecule catalytic inhibitors of PARP could potentially lead to a selective anti-tumor effect by preventing the repair of intrinsic DNA damage. These agents were originally developed for the treatment of breast and ovarian tumors but they exhibit some effectivity against other neoplasms including lung cancer, too. For broadening clinical usage, multiple studies have been started to explore the role of PARP inhibitors in combination with chemo- and/or radiotherapy both in small-cell and non-small-cell lung cancer (SCLC, NSCLC). A phase I/II dose-escalation trial of the PARP inhibitor olaparib + radiotherapy alone or with cisplatin, is ongoing in patients with surgically unresectable NSCLC. SWOG 1206, a phase I/II trial, evaluates the use of veliparib added to chemoradiotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel for inoperable stage III NSCLC. An additional multicenter, randomized, phase Ib/IIb study is in progress assessing the concurrent administration of olaparib and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib versus gefitinib alone in patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive NSCLC. Similar trials are also under way enrolling patients with SCLC, where veliparib is used alone or in combination with the alkylating agent temozolomide. Possible synergistic effects between the conventional cytotoxic drug regimen, cisplatin+etoposide, and veliparib is under study in SCLC as well.

By Ferenc Zsila M.D., Ph.D.

Tags: experimental drug, breast cancer, lung cancer, non small cell lung cancer, PARP inhibitors,clinical trial, olaparib, small-cell lung cancer, veliparib - August 13, 2013


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