PHOENIX, Ariz. July 6, 2010 Investigators at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have discovered a way that may help ovarian cancer patients who no longer respond to conventional chemotherapy.
A scientific paper that will be published in the September issue of the journal Gynecologic Oncology describes how the inhibition of a protein, CHEK1, may be an effective element to incorporate into therapies for women with ovarian cancer.
The research led by TGen's Dr. David Azorsa, a Senior Investigator, and Dr. Shilpi Arora, a Staff Scientist, found that inhibiting CHEK1 by a small molecule known as PD 407824, enabled ovarian cancer cells to be attacked again by cisplatin, a widely used platinum-based chemotherapy drug for women with ovarian cancer.
"PD 407824 is only available for laboratory research, but other drugs inhibiting CHEK1 are already used to treat patients in the clinic," said Dr. Raoul Tibes, one of the paper's senior a co-authors and an Associate Investigator in TGen's Clinical Translational Research Division.
The prognosis remains poor for patients with ovarian cancer, which kills nearly 14,600 women in the U.S. annually. The standard treatment for cancer of the ovaries, which produce human egg cells, is surgical removal of the cancer, followed by chemotherapy.
The TGen team proved their method in the research laboratory, which is very encouraging, considering that the use of protein inhibitors in combination with cisplatin, is also proving to be effective in clinical trials with cancer patients.
"The clinical relevance is high, as such novel molecular concepts inhibiting the repair of cancer cells after treatment with chemotherapies are in development for many different cancers," said Dr. Tibes, a medical oncologist who treats patients with advanced cancers at TGen Clinical Research Services (TCRS) at Scottsdale Healthcare.
"We actually have similar drug combi
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The Translational Genomics Research Institute