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Unique study focuses on combined treatment approach for locally advanced pancreatic cancer
Date:7/22/2014

, allowing cancerous cells and tumors to recover, grow and proliferate, thereby escaping the effects of treatment.

With this knowledge, researchers combined radiation with a drug to prevent PARP from repairing cancerous cells. When the treatment was given to laboratory mice, the combination resulted in prolonged survival.

"Based on this research, we are now conducting a first-in-human study combining the PARP inhibitor with radiation and chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer, with an ultimate goal of improving survival rates and treatment outcomes," said Tuli.

The investigational treatment regimen also could prove beneficial to patients with other forms of cancer. Recent research findings suggest PARP could be beneficial for patients who carry either or both the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. "Normal" BRCA genes help suppress tumor formation and repair damaged DNA; the mutated genes' protective mechanisms are compromised, leading to genetic defects that result in cancer. But the "defective" repair capability is a process that may be exploited by treatments, such as PARP inhibition, which further impairs the ability of tumors to repair their own DNA after insult with radiation.

In addition to adding a novel PARP inhibitor to the regimen, investigators are seeking to identify other markers related to DNA damage that could provide a molecular signature, or biomarker, to forecast how a patients' tumor would respond to treatment and help guide personalized treatment options in the near future.

"Identifying individual biomarkers to better understand how a patient may respond to treatment is an essential step toward personalizing medicine for every individual," said Steven Piantadosi, MD, PhD, director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and Phase One Foundation Chair. "It is the goal of our cancer institute to combine the most advanced patient-centered clinical care with innovative res
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Contact: Cara Martinez
cara.martinez@cshs.org
310-423-7798
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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