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Inhibition of PARP-1 by Olaparib (AZD2281) Increasesthe Radiosensitivity of a Lung Tumor Xenograft

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Steve Wedge


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PARP-1 is a critical enzyme in the repair of DNA strand breaks. Inhibition of PARP-1 increases the effectiveness of radiation in killing tumor cells. However, although the mechanism(s) are well understood for these radiosensitizing effects in vitro, the underlying mechanism(s) in vivo are less clear. Nicotinamide, a drug structurally related to the first generation PARP-1 inhibitor, 3-aminobenzamide, reduces tumor hypoxia by preventing transient cessations in tumor blood flow, thus improving tumor oxygenation and sensitivity to radiotherapy. Here, we investigate whether olaparib, a potent PARP-1 inhibitor, enhances radiotherapy, not only by inhibiting DNA repair but also by changing tumor vascular hemodynamics in non–small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). In irradiated Calu-6 and A549 cells, olaparib enhanced the cytotoxic effects of radiation (sensitizer enhancement ratio at 10% survival = 1.5 and 1.3) and DNA double-strand breaks persisted for at least 24 hours after treatment. Combination treatment of Calu-6 xenografts with olaparib and fractionated radiotherapy caused significant tumor regression (P = 0.007) relative to radiotherapy alone. To determine whether this radiosensitization was solely due to effects on DNA repair, we used a dorsal window chamber model to establish the drug/radiation effects on vessel dynamics. Olaparib alone, when given as single or multiple daily doses, or in combination with fractionated radiotherapy, increased the perfusion of tumor blood vessels. Furthermore, an ex vivo assay in phenylephrine preconstricted arteries confirmed olaparib to have higher vasodilatory properties than nicotinamide. This study suggests that olaparib warrants consideration for further development in combination with radiotherapy in clinical oncology settings such as NSCLC.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Senra JM, Telfer BA, Cherry KE, McCrudden CM, Hirst DG, O'Connor MJ, Wedge SR, Stratford IJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Molecular Cancer Therapeutics

Year: 2011

Volume: 10

Issue: 10

Pages: 1949-1958

Print publication date: 08/08/2011

ISSN (print): 1535-7163

ISSN (electronic): 1538-8514

Publisher: American Association for Cancer Research


DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0278


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