PARP inhibitors work by interfering with DNA repair and have been used as a breast cancer treatment on mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, according to a study in Nature Medicine. As STAT reports, between 1% and 5% of breast cancer patients display these particular mutations. PARP inhibitors are also used for patients with ovarian and prostate cancers.
But the study suggests that PARP inhibitors can have a much broader application. “If the tumors with predicted BRCA1/BRCA2 deficiency also demonstrate sensitivity to PARP inhibitors, this would unearth a substantial cohort of patients who could be responsive to selective therapeutic agents, which are currently reserved for just ~1–5% of patients with breast cancer who are germline mutation carriers. This is potentially transformative, and thus the application of this predictor in PARP inhibitor clinical trials is warranted to assess predictive capacity in clinical settings.”
Source: Nature Medicine