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New understanding of DNA repair could eventually lead to cancer therapy
Date:2/10/2012

rest of the double helix. We now understand more about how this thing works; an enzyme that is protecting us from getting cancers."

However, the same enzyme also protects cancer cells. "We find a lot of tumours become resistant to these therapies [radiation and chemotherapy]," said Glover. "The holy grail of cancer therapy is to find drugs that we could give to people that would sensitize their tumours to these therapies.

"One way you could sensitize tumours is to target what they're using to repair damaged DNA. One of the ideas is that we could specifically inhibit this PNKP enzyme."

Sensitizing the tumours to therapies could also lower side effects, adds Glover.

The lab is already starting to test some compounds that could act as inhibitors for PNKP in tumours and they've seen some positive early results.

Because radiation is proven effective in some but not all cancers, new treatment avenues are necessary. Glover is playing a vital role in moving potential new treatment forward.

"It requires a lot of basic research to find out what's going on in all these different cancers," he said.


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Contact: Quinn Phillips
quinn.phillips@ualberta.ca
780-248-2048
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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