New way of blocking DNA repair in cancer cells after radiation therapy

Published: 2018-09-25


Half of all cancer patients will get radiation therapy at some point of their treatment. A study led by Thomas Helleday and Nina Gustafsson, Karolinska Institutet/SciLifeLab, has found a new way of making cancer cells sensitive to radiation therapy. In the study, published din Nature Communications, the researchers show how they were able to block DNA repair in the cancer cells och thus prevent them from surviving radiation therapy. 

In the study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the company Kancera, discovered that cancer cells that have been exposed to radiation therapy use a protein, which has not been know to operate under these circumstances, to repair DNA damage. The researchers developed a pharmaceutical molecule, KAN0439757, which blocks the protein and thus its ability to repair DNA damage. The study revelas that cancers cells treated with the molecule did not survive radiation therapy, while normal, healthy cells were unaffected.

Read full scientific paper in Nature Communications

Read full press release from Karolinska Institutet (in Swedish)