PARP Inhibitor May Be Effective Against Some TNBC-Lacking BRCA Mutations

A recent study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, uncovered some important data regarding mutations and cancer treatment.

The study, performed by Funda Meric-Bernstam, MD, of the Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy and Nellie B. Connally of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that the PARP inhibitor talazoparid caused regression of patient-derived xenographs of triple-negative breast cancers with BRCA mutations. The PARP inhibitors also worked for patients without BRCA mutations but with other alterations in DNA damage-repair pathways.

The study was performed on patients suffering from triple-negative breast cancer who were not responding to chemotherapy. Meric-Bernstam and Connally were hoping to “better deliver personalized cancer therapy by understanding how we can best match therapies to patients,” according to Dr. Meric-Bernstam.

The researchers developed 26 PDXs using tumors from 25 patients and used the models to take a closer look at the genomic characteristics of those dealing with cancer. They tested a variety of investigational elements to better understand what they were seeing.

“Among targeted therapies, the efficacy of PARP inhibitors was most striking,” said Meric-Bernstam. Of those tested, five regressed and one showed stability for 28 days.

From here, the researchers are hoping to develop new models to better understand PARP inhibitors and how they can be used to treat cancer.

As with many studies of this nature, funding and support were hugely important to getting the work off the ground. Meric-Bernstam and Connally received financial support from a variety of organizations and companies, including the National Institutes of Health, The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, Novartis, and GRAIL, which is itself a cancer research expert.

Read more about the study and its sponsors here.