Dr. Karlan on Current Research Evaluating PARP Inhibitor Combination Therapy in Ovarian Cancer

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Beth Y. Karlan, MD, discusses the current landscape of research investigating the efficacy of PARP inhibitor combination therapies for the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer.

Beth Y. Karlan, MD, professor and vice chair, Women’s Health Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, director, Cancer Population Genetics, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA Health, discusses the current landscape of research investigating the efficacy of PARP inhibitor combination therapies for the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer.

Researchers in this field are focused on creating more effective immunotherapies for patients with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer, Karlan states. Historically, patients with ovarian cancer have not benefitted from the use of checkpoint inhibitors, which are highly effective in treating most other tumor types. Several publications and ongoing studies aim to address this deficit by researching the use of PARP inhibitors in combination with checkpoint inhibitors in patients with ovarian cancer.

Additionally, there is interest in evaluating interactions between targeted agents involved in DNA repair pathways, such as WEE1 inhibitors and MEK inhibitors. The antitumor effects of these DNA repair inhibitors could further enhance cell killing through PARP inhibitors.

Other ongoing trials of PARP combination therapies include the use of folate receptor alpha–targeting antibody-drug conjugates and radiation therapy. These trials could improve the delivery of targeted approaches to patients with ovarian cancer, which is an exciting and promising prospect, Karlan concludes.

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