MADRID, 23 Jun. (EUROPA PRESS) –
A new medicine accurately directed to the ability of the cancer to repair damage to their DNA has shown promising results in the first clinical trial of this class of drug, according to published authors in the ‘Journal of Clinical Oncology’.
The new study, designed to evaluate the safety of the medication, found that half of the patients who received the new drug alone or with chemotherapy with platinum saw that their cancer stopped growing, and two patients saw their tumors shrank or disappeared completely.
The damage to the DNA in the cells is the main cause of the cancer, but it is also a fundamental weakness in the tumors, and the cancer cells can be destroyed when further damage your DNA, or attack your ability to repair it.
The new phase I trial tested the first of a new family of drugs that blocks a protein of DNA repair key called ATR. Phase I trials are designed to evaluate the safety of new treatments, and it’s unusual to see a clinical response at this stage.
A team from the Institute of Cancer Research London and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust conducted a trial on the benefit of an inhibitor of ATR called berzosertib, either alone or with chemotherapy in 40 patients with tumors very advanced, treated in hospitals around the world.
The researchers established the dose at which the medication was safe for use in further clinical trials, and discovered that the berzosertib by itself only caused mild side effects.
Amazingly, for a phase I trial, funded by Merck, the manufacturer of the drug, the researchers also found that the berzosertib stop the growth of tumors in more than half of the patients who received the drug alone or with chemotherapy, 20 of 38 patients whose response to treatment could be measured.
The benefit of the medicine in the blocking of DNA repair was even more marked in patients who also received chemotherapy, which works by causing damage to DNA. In these patients, 15 of 21, or 71 percent, saw stabilized their disease, suggesting that chemotherapy increased the sensitivity to berzosertib.
A patient with cancer of the bowel advanced whose tumor contained faults in key genes of DNA repair, including CHEK1, and ARID1A, responded remarkably well to the berzosertib by itself, to see go away their tumors and to remain free of cancer for more than two years.
Another woman with advanced ovarian cancer whose disease had returned after treatment with a drug that blocks PARP, another key protein of DNA repair, received the combined treatment and found that his tumors shrank.
The response of these patients suggests that the berzosertib might be explored as a strategy to overcome resistance to the family of PARP inhibitors for targeted treatments.
The drug is now advancing in additional trials, and the hope is that you can develop a new targeted treatment for patients, and help to overcome the resistance to other drugs of accuracy as the PARP inhibitors that target DNA repair.
Drug resistance, as cancers evolve in response to treatment, it is one of the major challenges facing the research and treatment of cancer today.
The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), the institute of charity and research, will focus on how to overcome cancer evolution and drug resistance in its new Center for the Discovery of Drugs against Cancer, for which you still need to raise the last £ 2 million (2,21 million euros).
The ICR discovered how to aim genetically to the first drug of accuracy approved that attacks the ability of the cancer to DNA repair, the PARP inhibitor, olaparib.
Professor Johann de Bono, Head of Drug Development at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, highlighted that its clinical trial “is the first to assess the safety of a new family of anti-cancer drugs directed at people, and it is encouraging to see some clinical responses even at this early stage. Now, we and other we are planning further clinical trials of berzosertib and other drugs block the protein ATR”, he adds.
“In the future, this new class of drug inhibitors of ATR could increase the effect of treatments such as chemotherapy that target the DNA of the cancer, extend our range of treatment options and overcome resistance to other targeted treatments,” continues.
For his part, professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, London, stresses that “point to the ability of a cancer to repair DNA pathway is a fundamentally important cancer research that has provided some of the most important advances against the disease in recent years.”
“It is exciting to see the first clinical trial of a drug targeting a key player in the DNA repair process has results that are so promising, and I look forward to the results of more studies that prove the benefit of this new family of targeted treatments,” he concludes.
“I’m anxious to explore the potential of these inhibitors of ATR to overcome the resistance to other drugs specific and form combinations of effective treatment. That is exactly the kind of approach that we will adopt in our new Center for the Discovery of Drugs against Cancer as we seek to block off the escape routes of cancer through the creation of a new generation of treatments against evolution”.