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Nat Rev Cancer. 2012 Dec;12(12):801-17. doi: 10.1038/nrc3399.

DNA repair dysregulation from cancer driver to therapeutic target.

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Newcastle University, Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK.


Dysregulation of DNA damage repair and signalling to cell cycle checkpoints, known as the DNA damage response (DDR), is associated with a predisposition to cancer and affects responses to DNA-damaging anticancer therapy. Dysfunction of one DNA repair pathway may be compensated for by the function of another compensatory DDR pathway, which may be increased and contribute to resistance to DNA-damaging chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Therefore, DDR pathways make an ideal target for therapeutic intervention; first, to prevent or reverse therapy resistance; and second, using a synthetic lethal approach to specifically kill cancer cells that are dependent on a compensatory DNA repair pathway for survival in the context of cancer-associated oxidative and replicative stress. These hypotheses are currently being tested in the laboratory and are being translated into clinical studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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