Friday, June 26, 2009

New cancer drug has few side effects

There's an interesting article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that talks about a novel new cancer agent called olaparib. In a phase 1 study, this drug was found to have few adverse effects (compared to conventional chemo) and displays antitumor activity in certain tumors. Here's the brief conclusion: Olaparib has few of the adverse effects of conventional chemotherapy, inhibits PARP, and has antitumor activity in cancer associated with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

Technology Review has a nice article on this titled, "New Drug Kills Cancer with Few Side Effects." Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Compare that to the NEJM title: "Inhibition of Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase in Tumors from BRCA Mutation Carriers." Did you catch all that? What's PARP?

Did you learn about PARP in medical school? The inhibition of poly(adenosine diphosphate [ADP]–ribose) polymerase (PARP) is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancers with specific DNA-repair defects, including those arising in carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Olaparib (AZD2281) is an orally acting PARP inhibitor.

As cancer therapy becomes more tailored in our evolving world of personalized medicine, it's exciting to see all this research that combines molecular biology, genomics, and targeted therapies. Advances in medical technology and drug development are leading to innovative treatments in the world of oncology.

Olaparib (AZD2281), previously known as KU-0059436, began to be manufactured by AstraZeneca after the company acquired KuDOS Pharmaceuticals.

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