In the news today, a new drug called berzosertib has shown promising early results in cancer patients receiving treatment, including ovarian cancer.
The drug is in the first stage of a clinical trial run by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust to test it’s safety. This drug falls under a new type of treatment called “precision medicine”.
Precision medicine looks at an individual's genes to help predict which treatment strategy will work best. This class of drugs could be used alongside chemotherapy to improve the treatment’s success and potentially prevent resistance to chemotherapy.
Berzosertib works by blocking the DNA repair in cancer cells to prevent the tumour from growing and surviving across cancer types. This would also prevent repair in cancer cells killed by chemotherapy.
The drug has shown promising results at this early stage of trial, but further trials are needed to see how effective this therapy is.
We’re funding better treatments
Ovarian Cancer Action funded researcher Professor Bob Brown is also looking at genes to see if they can improve treatment success for women with ovarian cancer.
As well as looking at drugs that could prevent gene changes in ovarian cancer cells, the team at the Ovarian Cancer Research Centre (OCARC) at Imperial College London want to understand what makes some women resistant to chemotherapy.
Our researchers are looking at changes in the genes in ovarian cancer cells during treatment. This could show if there is a way to predict how patients will respond to treatment and which patients would benefit from the new drugs being examined in clinical trials.
This work could lead to clinical trials to look at new approaches to prevent or overcome chemotherapy treatment failure in ovarian cancer patients.