One-two Punch Impairs Chemo Resistance in Mice with Ovarian Cancer

One-two Punch Impairs Chemo Resistance in Mice with Ovarian Cancer
Platinum-based chemotherapy is a highly effective treatment approach for ovarian cancer, but most patients will eventually become resistant and stop responding to it. Now, researchers at the Wistar Institute may have found a way to prevent that resistance from developing, using a new class of drugs called bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) inhibitors. The study, "BET Inhibitors Suppress ALDH Activity by Targeting ALDH1A1 Super-Enhancer in Ovarian Cancer," published in Cancer Research, shows that combining BET inhibitors with Platinol (cisplatin) significantly extends the survival of ovarian cancer mouse models by reducing the tumor's resistance to chemotherapy. "There is a tremendous need for novel therapeutic strategies for patients with chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer, given the prevalence of the clinical challenge and the limited number of other options available," Rugang Zhang, PhD, professor and co-program leader in the Gene Expression and Regulation program at Wistar and lead author of the study, said in a press release. "This study demonstrates how an existing class of targeted therapies could be used to potentiate the tumor suppression induced by cisplatin," Zhang said. Although patients with epithelial ovarian cancer initially respond well to platinum-based chemotherapy, they often relapse, which is accompanied by a decrease in sensitivity to chemotherapy. Cancer stem-like cells have been hypothesized to
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