Brian T. Burgess, DO, first-year fellow, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, discusses resistance to PARP inhibitors in patients with ovarian cancer.
Brian T. Burgess, DO, fellow, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, discusses resistance to PARP inhibitors in patients with ovarian cancer.
The problem in this space is not that the drugs aren’t potent, Burgess says. PARP inhibitors have shown significant activity in the maintenance setting of treatment, resulting in 3 FDA approvals as of May 2018—niraparib (Zejula), olaparib (Lynparza), and rucaparib (Rubraca). However, over time, chemo-resistance is a major barrier to treatment success. The hope with the implementation of targeted therapy was that these challenges would easily be overcome. Acquired and intrinsic chemotherapy-resistance has turned out to hinder long-term outcomes. Burgess says that particularly in ovarian cancer, agents such as olaparib have some promising early success, but limited durable responses in terms of overall survival.
Researchers are trying to get to the bottom of why PARP resistance seems to occur after a certain period of time in these patients.