Dr Vijayalakshmi Kari, a modest and talented scientist with roots from Prakasam went on discover breakthrough defective gene along with her team for prostrate cancer. Kari along with her team from Uni Gottingen (University of Gottingen) have discovered defective genes that can become a stunning breakthrough in targeted prostrate cancer treatment.
When it comes to targeted prostate cancer, it has been seen that the most commonly mutated genes in this case, is the CHD1. A recent study, which was later published in EMBO report, has proved that a lack of these genes can actually improve the reaction of the cancer affected cells to various drugs.
The research was carried out by a team of experts from Denmark and Germany and was led by Steven Johnson, who works at the University Medical Center in Göttingen, Germany as a Professor. Kari and her team made use of the prostate cancer cell lines of humans and mutated it by depleting it of the CHD1 gene. According to experts, it has been seen that in case of prostate tumor, these genes are mutated by 15% to 27% which lead to various chromosomal instabilities and sometimes even prevent a proper prognosis of the disease.
The research carried out by Vijayalakshmi’s team demonstrated that the cells that are depleted of CHD1 do not function well for homologous recombination, a process that is involved in the repairing of DNA. It should be noted that the main function of CHD1 is to loosen the DNA such that the HR repair proteins can enter a particular break site and facilitate the repair. This in turn proves that in case of cancer affected cells, where there are other possible mutations too that hinder the HR repair process, the cells that were depleted of CHD1 gene were actually overtly sensitive to the various drugs prescribed for chemotherapy, thus causing breaks in the DNA like Irinotecan, Mitomycin C and PARP inhibitors.
Kari and her team are extremely excited with the finding of this research. The team has already started contacting various pharmaceutical companies to convert research into a whole scale clinical process. With this study, a new breakthrough has also come through for breast and ovarian cancer, where the BRCA mutations could be the cause of the HR repair process. In such cases, the cancer affected cells are sensitive to the PARP inhibitors which are usually prescribed for such treatments.
Presently the PARP inhibitors are being exclusively tested on the treatment of prostate cancer. Along with it, a second phase using PARP indicator Olaparib has also been carries out which has proved that these cells actually react better to the prescribed medicines, thereby improving the chances of the patient’s survival. Johnsen revealed that if these tests work out fine, CHD1 can actually be considered as a biomarker for treatment of prostate cancer, which in turn can improve the chances of successful eradication of the mutated cells.
Way to go, Dr Vijayalakshmi Kari.