An Update in Targeted Therapies
Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD, professor of medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, discussed the latest data on PARP inhibition. Twelve years after PARP inhibition was shown to be effective in BRCA-deficient cells, there are 5 unique PARP inhibitors advancing through clinical development: olaparib, veliparib, talazoparib, niraparib, and rucaparib—a “tongue twister” of breakthroughs.
Although PARP inhibitors have found their footing in investigating BRCA-driven cancers, there’s been a subsequent drive to investigate this novel therapy in BRCA-like cancer cells as well. Other drives in PARP inhibition therapy include combination with DNA damaging, platinum-based chemotherapy, a combination that often turned out to be intolerable. With dose reductions, a high response rate was observed.
Blackwell discussed, in detail, the readouts of multiple trials and what we might expect from emerging agents. Borrowing from ovarian cancer, Blackwell postulated that platinum-sensitivity will be the “poor man’s test of whether or not a tumor is sensitive to PARP inhibition.” When ending her talk, Blackwell called for clinical trial registrations, highlighting which trials were currently recruiting. She ultimately concluded that PARP inhibitors “are exciting agents, but we have a long way to go.”