Denise Connolly, PhD
Fox Chase Cancer Center
2015 Pape Family Pilot Award
Sensitizing ovarian cancer to PARP inhibition
PARP inhibitors are among the most promising class of targeted therapeutics for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Patients with mutations in BRCA genes and some patients with sporadic cancers are particularly sensitive to this class of drugs, presumably because of defects in their cells to repair DNA damage. Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90) is a molecular chaperone that helps stabilize and regulate the activity of several essential proteins required for DNA damage repair. Based on its role in regulating these essential proteins, Dr. Connolly will test whether inhibition of HSP90 will sensitize tumor cells to PARP inhibition through further preventing DNA damage repair from taking place in ovarian cancer cells, making PARP inhibitors more efficient at killing ovarian cancer cells.