Advances in PARP inhibitors for the treatment of breast cancer


EXPERT OPINION ON PHARMACOTHERAPY, vol.16, no.18, pp.2751-2758, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Introduction: Poly(ADP-Ribose) polymerases (PARPs) are one of the important components of base excision repair pathway for single strand DNA breaks. Currently accepted hypothesis for the mechanism of action for PARP inhibitors in tumors with homologous recombination deficiency is synthetic lethality, as the simultaneous blockage of both pathways prevents the tumor cells from repairing DNA damage. Other proposed mechanisms include PARP trapping, defective BRCA1 and POLQ recruitment to sites of DNA repair. Breast cancer subgroups with germline BRCA mutations or non-mutational functional defects in BRCA proteins exemplify potential targets for PARP inhibitors.Areas covered: Promising results have been achieved with PARP inhibitors in BRCA associated cancers, particularly in ovarian and breast cancer. Olaparib is the only PARP inhibitor approved by FDA in the treatment of patients with germline BRCA mutated advanced ovarian cancer pretreated with 3 prior lines of chemotherapy. In this article, we reviewed the current status of PARP inhibitors, completed and ongoing trials, safety and resistance issues in patients with breast cancer.Expert opinion: PARP inhibitors show promise in cancers with BRCA mutation and in the treatment of sporadic cancers with defective homologous recombination. Predictors of response, strategies to overcome resistance, combination with other chemotherapies and targeted agents, optimum dose and schedule of administration should be investigated in future trials.