Breast Cancer Treatments Could Be Used for Rare Ovarian Cancer, Study Suggests

Breast Cancer Treatments Could Be Used for Rare Ovarian Cancer, Study Suggests
Medications currently approved to treat some kinds of breast cancer — generally called CDK4/6 inhibitors — could be re-purposed to treat a rare type of ovarian cancer called small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT), a study suggests. The study, "CDK4/6 inhibitors target SMARCA4-determined cyclin D1 deficiency in hypercalcemic small cell carcinoma of the ovary," was published in Nature Communications. The researchers had previously discovered that cells in SCCOHT, a rare and often fatal type of ovarian cancer, have mutations in the SMARCA4 gene. "Working on something like SCCOHT seemed an obvious choice as it is a unique genetic disease driven by loss of a single gene, SMARCA4," Sidong Huang, one of the researchers, said in a press release. On its own, this information isn't that clinically useful — it's much easier to stop cancer by inactivating a change that's driving the disease than by trying to somehow add back a fixed version of a mutated gene. However, the study revealed that cancer cells with mutations in SMARCA4 might be vulnerable to targeting CDK4/6 — a protein complex that is important for cells, including cancer cells, to divide and grow. The investigators discovered this by screening SCCOHT cell lines with RNA-based inhibitors
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