(July 27, 2017) Earlier this week, in Nature Cell Biology, researchers at The Wistar Institute published their findings about a few strategies to treat clear cell carcinoma. Clear cell is a rare form of ovarian cancer that does not usually respond well to platinum-based chemotherapy, which leaves patients with few options.
In most cases of clear cell carcinoma, ARID1A, which would normally indirectly prevent cells from becoming cancerous, is mutated. This mutation allows a group of enzymes that would normally be inhibited by ARID1A, to increase. In turn, there are more of these enzymes, which inhibit tumor suppressing genes, allowing for tumors to grow. A drug called rocilinostat has been found to affect the enzyme activity in only ARID1A mutated tumors, which has resulted in reduced tumor growth and longer survival in animals.
Dr. Rugang Zhang, OCRFA grantee and one of the authors of the study, explains that, “Therapeutic approaches based on the ARID1A mutation have the potential to revolutionize the way we treat these patients.”