William Oh, MD
About William Oh, MD
Predicting Response to Platinum Chemotherapy in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC) Using a Genomic Signature for “BRCAness”
Every cell has DNA repair mechanisms that function to protect DNA from harmful mutations which can cause cancer and cell death. In healthy cells DNA repair mechanisms are intact but in cancer cells they are often but not always damaged. Platinums are a class of chemotherapy medicines that kill cancer cells by damaging the cell’s DNA structure. However, certain types of cancer cells are more susceptible to DNA-damaging drugs like platinum than others. Satraplatin is a type of platinum that is unique; it can cause more severe DNA damage than its counterparts. Yet, BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two genes that may predict satraplatin activity and confer therapy sensitivity. Importantly some patients carry BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations resulting in limited DNA repair function. Dr. Oh hypothesizes that patients with loss of BRCA1/2 function will benefit more from satraplatin therapy–particularly if the cancer is anaplastic–because the cancer cells lack the ability to repair themselves. This award will fund a prospective Phase II clinical trial of satraplatin in metastatic prostate cancer patients that will determine whether patients with mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are more sensitive to satraplatin therapy. Such findings will advance personalized medicine in prostate cancer treatment strategies and can be applied to newer drugs that also target this DNA repair pathway.