Funding period

Dec 2020 - Sept 2024



from Ovarian Cancer Canada

About the project

Recruitment status: Open

Ovarian cancer is a highly aggressive cancer, which tends to return, even after completing chemotherapy. PARP inhibitors are pills that target DNA repair mechanisms—the machinery responsible for making sure cells stay healthy by repairing any damage they may experience, which over time could cause cancer. These drugs are taken every day to help keep cancer at bay, after chemotherapy is completed. PARP inhibitors have shown promising results in extending the length of time before the cancer recurs, particularly in women who have mutations in specific genes (e.g., BRCA1/2, PALB2, and other Homologous Recombination Deficiency (HRD) genes). However, it is unclear why PARP inhibitors stop working for these patients, and what the next best line of treatment should be.

Dr. Oza and his research team are testing a new drug that may help kill cancer cells should it return after treatment with a PARP inhibitor. Research to date has shown that the experimental drug CX-5461 successfully kills cancer cells by blocking major components of the machinery needed to successfully complete DNA repair. In this manner, this drug is capable of forcing those cells that have a weakness in their repair systems further into disrepair, causing the build-up of deadly damage that the cancer cells cannot correct.

Successful clinical trial completion will provide research teams with important new information around what is required to continue cancer cell death after the use of successful drugs like PARP inhibitors. Most importantly, the exact biology of cancer at this time and how it can be manipulated to promote cancer cell death.




Dr. Amit Oza

Study lead Dr. Amit Oza