The emerging DNA damage response field is expected to revolutionize precisely targeted cancer treatment as major drug companies show interest in major deals.
DNA damage response treatments, (DDR) inhibitor drugs are a recent addition to the therapeutic arsenal employed in cancer treatment. They exploit the imperfect DNA repair machinery found in many cancer cells, which allows them to rely on certain repair pathways to survive and proliferate. DDR inhibitors block these pathways leading to cancer cell death, while the healthy cells that retain alternative DDR pathways survive.
Drugs targeting DNA repair by DDR inhibitors will deliver a precision medicine that not only promises a cure for many cancers, but also enhances patient tolerance and consequent improved survival.
This is an expanding therapeutic field that has the potential to become a fundamental part of the standard of cancer treatment, either alone or combined with immunotherapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
DDR development has been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has slowed trials recruitment and stopped laboratory cancer research at many university laboratories.
However, a number of multinational pharma companies like Artios Pharma of Cambridge, UK, and Merck Group of Darmstadt, Germany, are developing DDR blockbuster inhibitor drugs.
Professor Ian Hampson comments:
One final word of caution – DDR inhibitors which target poly (ADP- ribose) polymerase (PARP) are a very promising candidate not only for the treatment of cancer, but for many other diseases related to uncontrolled inflammation. However, the consequences of long-term treatment with PARP inhibitors are not yet known.
Soaring interest in cancer drugs targeting DNS repair systems in our cells.
Directing the use of DDR kinase inhibitors in cancer treatment
PARP & DDR Inhibitors Digital Summit 2021
DDR compounds in Development: DNA Damage Response
Multifaceted Role of PARP-1 in DNA Repair and Inflammation: Pathological and Therapeutic Implications in Cancer and Non-Cancer Disease