Breast cancer drugs could treat lung cancer

Experimental drugs currently approved to fight breast cancer may also help battle cancer of the lungs, according to new research from the Institute of Cancer Research in London.

The researchers conducting the study found that a class of breast cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors could be useful in killing cancer cells.  These drugs use a protein – PARP1 – to repair single strands of damaged DNA, which, when damaged en masse often leads to cancer.  In breast cancer patients, this drug works best on cancer cells that are low in oxygen and are generally the fastest growing tumors. This is also the case in some lung cancers.

The PARP inhibitors have shown promise in half of the non-small-cell lung cancer tumors on which it was tested. In the studies, the drugs killed cancerous cells and left healthy ones intact.  Though the results still need to be tested in clinical trials, this could be a promising treatment for certain forms of lung cancer, which can be hard to treat and generally has a low survival  rate.

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Sourced from: BBC News, Breast cancer drugs 'could treat lung cancer'