Isn't there a drug for that?

July 7, 2017. Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a salivary gland tumor that has notoriously few systemic therapy options available either to enhance radiation or to treat recurrent/metastatic disease. Enter: a translational study in Clinical Cancer Research which evaluated the radiosensitizing effects of MDM2 inhibition in ACC tumor xenografts. Why MDM2 inhibition? ACC is rare among cancers in that <5% of ACC tumors have p53 mutations (a common hallmark of cancer). Functioning MDM2 tags p53 for degradation. So if p53 is intact and you inhibit its inhibitor, the cell should, in theory, arrest when there is DNA damage (i.e., a radiation injury). The combination of MDM2 inhibition during radiation resulted in dramatic tumor responses as theorized. Next up, humans!

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