Combining PARP with ATR inhibition overcomes PARP inhibitor and platinum resistance in ovarian cancer models

Hyoung Kim, Haineng Xu, Erin George, Dorothy Hallberg, Sushil Kumar, Veena Jagannathan, Sergey Medvedev, Yasuto Kinose, Kyle Devins, Priyanka Verma, Kevin Ly, Yifan Wang, Roger A. Greenberg, Lauren Schwartz, Neil Johnson, Robert B. Scharpf, Gordon B. Mills, Rugang Zhang, Victor E. Velculescu, Eric J. BrownFiona Simpkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


Ovarian cancer (OVCA) inevitably acquires resistance to platinum chemotherapy and PARP inhibitors (PARPi). We show that acquisition of PARPi-resistance is accompanied by increased ATR-CHK1 activity and sensitivity to ATR inhibition (ATRi). However, PARPi-resistant cells are remarkably more sensitive to ATRi when combined with PARPi (PARPi-ATRi). Sensitivity to PARPi-ATRi in diverse PARPi and platinum-resistant models, including BRCA1/2 reversion and CCNE1-amplified models, correlate with synergistic increases in replication fork stalling, double-strand breaks, and apoptosis. Surprisingly, BRCA reversion mutations and an ability to form RAD51 foci are frequently not observed in models of acquired PARPi-resistance, suggesting the existence of alternative resistance mechanisms. However, regardless of the mechanisms of resistance, complete and durable therapeutic responses to PARPi-ATRi that significantly increase survival are observed in clinically relevant platinum and acquired PARPi-resistant patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) models. These findings indicate that PARPi-ATRi is a highly promising strategy for OVCAs that acquire resistance to PARPi and platinum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3726
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


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