Grants - V Clinical Scholars - Texas - 2020

Timothy Yap, MD, PhD

Funded by Lloyd Family Clinical Scholar Fund

The term DNA damage response (DDR) inhibitors is used in cancer treatment to refer to a group of drugs, which block important processes that cancers rely on to repair their DNA. While PARP inhibitors (a type of DDR inhibitor) are approved, they do not benefit all patients, and their effects are not long-lasting. Combining PARP (or other DDR inhibitors) with drugs that may boost their effects is a promising approach, which has been shown in laboratory studies (cancer cells or animal testing) to be more effective than each drug given alone. My program of DDR inhibitor combination trials aims to benefit patients with cancers with defects in DDR and other important processes by matching them with suitable DDR inhibitors in combination with carefully selected drugs, therefore personalizing cancer treatment for each patient. Multiple new and promising DDR inhibitor combinations will be tested. Trials not well-tolerated or effective will be stopped early, while trials with promising combinations will be increased in size. We will personalize these treatments for each patient by studying their cancer/blood samples to ensure that the genetic defects of the tumor match the combination treatment, so as to increase the chance of success. If patients stop responding to treatment, they will be allowed to switch to a different DDR inhibitor combination guided by fresh analyses of new cancer/blood samples. This program of trials aims to advance our DDR scientific knowledge, improve outcomes for each patient and guide future trials in order to get better treatments approved.