Synergistic activity of DNA damage response inhibitors in combination with radium-223 in prostate cancer

Victoria L. Dunne*, Timothy C. Wright, Francisco D. C. Guerra Liberal, Joe M. O'Sullivan, Kevin M. Prise

*Corresponding author for this work

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Radium-223 (223Ra) and Lutetium-177-labelled-PSMA-617 (177Lu-PSMA) are currently the only radiopharmaceutical treatments to prolong survival for patients with metastatic-castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC); however, mCRPC remains an aggressive disease. Recent clinical evidence suggests patients with mutations in DNA repair genes associated with homologous recombination have a greater clinical benefit from 223Ra. In this study, we aimed to determine the utility of combining DNA damage response (DDR) inhibitors to increase the therapeutic efficacy of X-rays, or 223Ra. Radiobiological responses were characterised by in vitro assessment of clonogenic survival, repair of double strand breaks, cell cycle distribution, and apoptosis via PARP-1 cleavage. Here, we show that DDR inhibitors increase the therapeutic efficacy of both radiation qualities examined, which is associated with greater levels of residual DNA damage. Co-treatment of ATM or PARP inhibition with 223Ra increased cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase. In comparison, combined ATR inhibition and radiation qualities caused G2/M checkpoint abrogation. Additionally, greater levels of apoptosis were observed after the combination of DDR inhibitors with 223Ra. This study identified the ATR inhibitor as the most synergistic inhibitor for both radiation qualities, supporting further pre-clinical evaluation of DDR inhibitors in combination with 223Ra for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1510
Number of pages16
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024


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