Combined PARP and Dual Topoisomerase Inhibition Potentiates Genome Instability and Cell Death in Ovarian Cancer

Although ovarian cancer is a rare disease, it constitutes the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women. It is of major importance to develop new therapeutic strategies to improve survival. Combining P8-D6, a novel dual topoisomerase inhibitor with exceptional anti-tumoral properties in ovarian cancer and compounds in preclinical research, and olaparib, a PARP inhibitor targeting DNA damage repair, is a promising approach. P8-D6 induces DNA damage that can be repaired by base excision repair or homologous recombination in which PARP plays a major role. This study analyzed benefits of combining P8-D6 and olaparib treatment in 2D and 3D cultures with ovarian cancer cells. Measurement of viability, cytotoxicity and caspase activity were used to assess therapy efficacy and to calculate the combination index (CI). Further DNA damage was quantified using the biomarkers RAD51 and γH2A.X. The combinational treatment led to an increased caspase activity and reduced viability. CI values partially show synergisms in combinations at 100 nM and 500 nM P8-D6. More DNA damage accumulated, and spheroids lost their membrane integrity due to the combinational treatment. While maintaining the same therapy efficacy as single-drug therapy, doses of P8-D6 and olaparib can be reduced in combinational treatments. Synergisms can be seen in some tested combinations. In summary, the combination therapy indicates benefits and acts synergistic at 100 nM and 500 nM P8-D6.


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