Author(s): Chionh F, Mitchell G, Lindeman GJ, Friedlander M, Scott CL
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Abstract Poly adenosine diphosphate ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors have demonstrated single agent activity in the treatment of patients with recurrent BRCA1-mutated and BRCA2-mutated breast and ovarian cancers. They also appear to have a potential role as maintenance therapy following chemotherapy in patients with platinum sensitive recurrent sporadic and BRCA1/2 related high-grade serous ovarian cancers. The concept of BRCAness raises the possibility that PARP inhibitors may be active in selected patients with homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair-deficient tumors, even if they do not harbor a BRCA1/2 germline mutation. Further research will be required to identify the subset of patients with sporadic cancers who may benefit from PARP inhibitor therapy. Precise details on the mechanisms of action, relative potency and anti-cancer effects of different PARP inhibitors remain to be clarified and are being investigated. PARP inhibitors are known to inhibit the base excision repair (BER) pathway but in addition, recent reports indicate that aberrant activation of the error-prone non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway occurs in HR-deficient cells and that cell death provoked by PARP inhibition is dependent on NHEJ-induced genomic instability. Characterization of the precise molecular mechanisms responsible for PARP inhibitor activity should lead to the identification of predictive biomarkers of response and help identify which patients should be treated with PARP inhibitors. This is a very active field of research and the current status and future directions are reviewed. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
This article was published in Asia Pac J Clin Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy