In 10 seconds? Increased understanding of cancer’s flawed DNA damage response has spurred the development of an array of cancer treatments. Many of these treatments have already helped cancer patients and many more contenders are in the drug development pipeline.

What do you mean by ‘DNA damage response’? Glad you asked! First, some background. The DNA inside our cells serves as a complete operations manual for the trillions of cells in our body. As our cells multiply (turning one parent cell into two daughter cells–AKA mitosis), it is essential that the daughter cells each receive a perfect replica of our DNA to ensure they can continue to work harmoniously with the rest of the cells in our bodies. When our DNA manual is corrupted (ie, accumulates mutations), that paves the way for cells to start making up their own rules and for cancer to form.

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