Dipanjan Chowdhury, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
OC130658: Noncoding RNAs as Prognostic and Predictive Biomarkers in BRCA 1/2-Mutated and Wildtype Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
Patients with epithelial ovarian cancer that carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations can successfully be treated with platinum chemotherapy and PARP inhibitors because the BRCA1/2 mutations cause a defect in DNA repair. This allows the platinum drugs and PARP inhibitors to damage the DNA of the tumor cells without proper repair mechanisms to restore the DNA. Accumulation of DNA damage in the tumors cells will eventually kill them. Dr. Chowdhury has recently discovered two sets of microRNAs, one of which seems to enhance DNA damage and the other which seems to suppress DNA damage. He proposes to validate these microRNAs as prognostic and predictive biomarkers that can distinguish which patients would benefit most from treatment with platinum chemotherapy and PARP inhibitors, even in women who do not have BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. These biomarkers would also predict which patients will be resistant to treatment so that new therapeutic avenues may be explored.