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CNIO scientists discover a new mechanism of resistance to chemotherapy

The occurrence of chemotherapy resistance is one of the major reasons for failure in cancer treatment. A study led by Oscar Fernández-Capetillo, Head of the Genomic Instability Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), has identified a new determinant of chemotherapy resistance. In this regard, they employed ATR kinase inhibitors, which were previously described by the group as a cancer treatment strategy, and that could be tested on humans as early as 2017, according to the researcher. The determining factor is a protein that often appears increased in cancer cells, CDC25A. This discovery, which is published in Molecular Cell, opens up new avenues for novel and more effective treatments as well as a way to predict which patients will particularly benefit from a therapy with ATR inhibitors.

ATR Inhibitors -- Chemotherapy
Cell treated with ATR inhibitors were developed at the CNIO. The treatment generates breaks in the DNA of cells. Each green dot indicates the presence of a break. Chromosomes are stained in blue.
Credit: CNIO