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Ola Hammarsten Research Group - DNA Repair
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Ola Hammarsten

Ola Hammarsten Research Group

DNA Repair Research


Cancer is often treated with agents that damage DNA, because DNA damage kills growing cells. DNA damage is introduced locally in the tumor by radiation (radiotherapy), or by systemic administration of DNA-damaging drugs (chemotherapy).

To find ways to improve cancer therapy we study the DNA damage-response in human cells. Person-to-person differences in metabolism and different inherent sensitivity to DNA damage frequently result in treatment failure or treatment related deaths.

We have developed a FACS-based method that quantifies the DNA damage response (gamma-H2AX) in patient cells. This method has been developed in a format so that it can be used in routine FACS labs. We now examine if this method can be used to personalize dosing of DNA-damaging drugs or if the DNA-damage response can be used to stratify cancers.

DNA-PK is a protein kinase involved in DNA-repair that is activated in cells that have DNA damage. We have developed a method that allows measurement of DNA-PK activation in cells. We use this assay to examine DNA-PK activation in response to different cancer treatments. These findings will allow us to predict how DNA-PK inhibitors (radiosensitizer) should be combined with DNA-damaging drugs in an optimal way. We also develop new methods that directly measure DNA-damage in clinical blood samples. A promising development is a variation of the FAR-method that allows measurement of all types of DNA-strand breaks in patient blood cells.

In addition, we are also working on methods that measure the effect of specific kinase and acetylase inhibitors used in cancer treatment. Our methods will make it possible to personalize treatment of cancer.












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Ola Hammarsten Research Group
Institute of Biomedicine
Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine
The Sahlgrenska University Hospital
S-413 45 Göteborg Sweden

Visiting address: Bruna Stråket 16, SU/Sahlgrenska
Updated: 2007-03-09