Mouse Study Reveals Potential Combination Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

Mouse Study Reveals Potential Combination Therapy for Ovarian Cancer
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have discovered a combination therapy that may hold promise in halting ovarian cancer progression. The combination of epigenetic therapy and immunotherapy reduced tumor burden and extended survival in a mouse model of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The study, “Epigenetic therapy activates type I interferon signaling in murine ovarian cancer to reduce immunosuppression and tumor burden,” was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Global epigenetic changes, which prevent genes from being expressed, are considered a hallmark of cancer. Epigenetics involves mechanisms that influence gene expression without altering the underlying DNA sequence. Recruitment of epigenetic modifiers such as DNA methyl transferases (DNMT) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) is known to be important to maintain cancer-epigenetic changes. Therefore, epigenetic therapy targets the epigenetic abnormalities of cancer mainly through several DNMT and HDAC inhibitors. A class of immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells. Although epigenetic therapy and immunotherapy were shown to be efficient treatments for some types of cancer, ovarian cancer does not respond successfully to either of these therapies. Previous data from the research team suggested that epigenetic drugs boost the immune system, potentially improving patients’ responses to immunotherapy. "We've ta
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