MAR 11, 2019 9:12 PM PDT

PARP Inhibitors Boost Immune Efficacy

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

In a recent research study, precision cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors are previously known to boost the immune system were found to spark a powerful immune response when used against cancer cells with weaknesses in DNA repair.

Image: Purple lung cancer cells. Credit: Anne Weston, Francis Crick Institute. Licence: CC BY-NC 4.0

"The findings of this study substantially change our understanding of how PARP inhibitors work. We now know that they not only kill tumors by damaging their DNA, but also by attracting immune cells to attack them -- acting as a sort of double-pronged attack. Immunotherapy is a genuinely brilliant cancer treatment but generally only for the 10 to 20 percent of people who respond to it. Finding the tumour is half of the battle in immunotherapy so by attracting the immune cells to the tumour, PARP inhibitors could enable the immunotherapy drug to target their attack,” says Chris Lord, Professor of Cancer Genomics at The Institute of Cancer Research in London.

Learn more:

Findings of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and changes the current understanding on PARP inhibitors and their potential role in cancer treatments alongside immunotherapies. Particularly, certain PARP inhibitors, like olaparib, block a mechanism that cells use to repair DNA.

"Our study found that PARP inhibitors enlist immune cells to aid in the killing of cancer cells. This provides a rationale for using PARP inhibitors alongside immunotherapies to further stimulate the immune response to cancer cells with DNA repair defects and enhance the therapeutic benefit of the treatment. This will be evaluated in a clinical trial of lung, prostate and bladder cancers, which is starting later this year,” says study co-leader Dr. Sophie Postel-Vinay, Clinician Scientist and Medical Oncologist at Gustave Roussy, France, and The Institute of Cancer Research.

Source: The Institute of Cancer Research

 

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
FEB 22, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Screening Macrocyclic Peptides
FEB 22, 2021
Screening Macrocyclic Peptides
Macrocyclic peptides are promising for pharmaceuticals for cancer—however, screening for them is challenging. Find ...
MAR 16, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Machine Learning Speeds Up Drug Discovery
MAR 16, 2021
Machine Learning Speeds Up Drug Discovery
How do drugs work? Well, they work when they stick to their target protein. Of course, there is much more complicated pr ...
APR 17, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Facebook AI May Speed up Cancer Drug Discovery
APR 17, 2021
Facebook AI May Speed up Cancer Drug Discovery
Facebook has claimed that its new artificial intelligence, known as 'Compositional Perturbation Autoencoder' (CP ...
APR 22, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
mRNA Covid Vaccines May Protect Against New Strains and Common Cold
APR 22, 2021
mRNA Covid Vaccines May Protect Against New Strains and Common Cold
Researchers from Johns Hopkins have found that the mRNA Covid vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna not only work wit ...
JUN 04, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Stem Cell Transplants May Treat Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
JUN 04, 2021
Stem Cell Transplants May Treat Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
Researchers at the Vinmec Research Institute of Stem Cell and Gene Technology in Hanoi, Vietnam have found that stem cel ...
JUN 09, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
New Drug Prevents Dementia After Head Injury
JUN 09, 2021
New Drug Prevents Dementia After Head Injury
Researchers led by the University of South Australia have identified a new drug that may be able to help prevent athlete ...
Loading Comments...