DNA-PK inhibitors for use in combination with radiation therapy

Half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy, impacting about seven million people worldwide each year. Enhancing tumour sensitivity to radiotherapy would have a far reaching and significant impact on patients with many kinds of cancer. 

Funded by a $5M grant from the Wellcome Trust, Dr. Minchinton’s lab has developed novel inhibitors of DNA-repair that can dramatically enhance the elimination of cancer cells with radiotherapy. He will improve his previously developed small molecule inhibitors of a DNA repair protein by developing therapeutic regimens to optimize their use for maximum anti-cancer benefit and minimize their effect on normal tissue. The overall aim of the project is to identify optimized inhibitors suitable for clinical candidate evaluation.

After the preclinical work, Dr. Minchinton will seek corporate partners to take the candidate into full clinical evaluation involving Phase I through III clinical trials. DNA damage repair mechanisms as a route to improved therapy could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of radiotherapy for cancer treatment.