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DNA repair in cancer: emerging targets for personalized therapy

Authors Abbotts R, Thompson N, Madhusudan S

Received 7 December 2013

Accepted for publication 5 January 2014

Published 19 February 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 77—92


Checked for plagiarism Yes

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Peer reviewer comments 3

Rachel Abbotts, Nicola Thompson, Srinivasan Madhusudan

University of Nottingham, Academic Unit of Oncology, Division of Oncology, School of Medicine, Nottingham University Hospitals, City Hospital Campus, Nottingham, UK

Abstract: Genomic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is under constant threat from endogenous and exogenous DNA damaging agents. Mammalian cells have evolved highly conserved DNA repair machinery to process DNA damage and maintain genomic integrity. Impaired DNA repair is a major driver for carcinogenesis and could promote aggressive cancer biology. Interestingly, in established tumors, DNA repair activity is required to counteract oxidative DNA damage that is prevalent in the tumor microenvironment. Emerging clinical data provide compelling evidence that overexpression of DNA repair factors may have prognostic and predictive significance in patients. More recently, DNA repair inhibition has emerged as a promising target for anticancer therapy. Synthetic lethality exploits intergene relationships where the loss of function of either of two related genes is nonlethal, but loss of both causes cell death. Exploiting this approach by targeting DNA repair has emerged as a promising strategy for personalized cancer therapy. In the current review, we focus on recent advances with a particular focus on synthetic lethality targeting in cancer.

Keywords: biomarker, drug target, synthetic lethality

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