Scientists have identified a mutation that gives cancer cells resistance to the breakthrough cancer treatment olaparib and other PARP inhibitors.
The study findings could help predict which patients will develop resistance to PARP inhibitors and allow doctors to alter treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.
A team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, used gene editing to identify a specific mutation in the PARP1 protein that prevents PARP inhibitors from working.
Testing for this mutation could add another level of personalisation to an already targeted treatment – helping guide decisions about whether to use PARP inhibitors in the first place, and when to switch to other drugs, such as platinum-based therapies.
The research was funded by Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Now, and published today (Thursday) in the journal Nature Communications.