Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) were granted $50,000 to investigate why only a fraction of ovarian cancer patients respond to treatment with PARP inhibitors. The grant, awarded by the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance, will allow the team to better understand the biological mechanisms underlying patients' response to PARP inhibitors, or lack thereof. Data collected from the studies are expected to support submission of an application for a larger grant from the National Institutes of Health. “We’re delighted that we have received this grant from the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance,” Jose Teixeira, a professor at the MSU College of Human Medicine’s department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology, said in a press release. “It will allow us to pursue this theory, which will, hopefully, lead to better, more patient-specific treatments for ovarian cancer patients.” As cancer cells divide at a faster pace, they are prone to accumulating more errors in their genome than healthy cells. To avoid these genetic mistakes, cells have a specific machinery dedicated to finding these errors and correcting them, holding off additional cellular damage. Among the critical components of this corrective mechanism are PARP enzymes, without which cells are unable to correct these cumulative genetic errors. Taking advantage of this process, researchers have developed specific PARP inhibitors to promote cancer cells' death.