PARP Inhibition Appears Promising in CRPC, But Questions Remain

Jason Harris
Published: Friday, May 17, 2019
Celestia Higano, MD

Celestia Higano, MD, FACP
Physicians have more options than ever before for treating men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Now, PARP inhibitors alone and in combinations are demonstrating potential in this tumor setting, but questions about survival benefit, toxicities, and efficacy remain to be answered, according to Celestia S. Higano, MD, who discussed these agents recently at the New York GU™: 12th Annual Interdisciplinary Prostate Cancer Congress® and Other Genitourinary Malignancies meeting.

“Combinations with androgen receptor– targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or even radiation therapy make a lot of biological sense,” said Higano, professor of medicine, oncology, and urology at the University of Washington and a member of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, both in Seattle.

The DNA of cancer cells is genetically unstable, Higano said. However, this very instability is what makes PARP inhibitors successful. PARP inhibitors capitalize on single-stranded and double-stranded DNA breaks by interfering with the repair process and promoting tumor cell death.

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