Patricia Mucci LoRusso, DO
PARP inhibitors still have a place in the treatment paradigm of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), but the role of these agents are significantly evolving, according to Patricia Mucci LoRusso, DO.
The agents are part of potential treatment strategies against triple-negative tumors, which account for about 15% of all breast cancers in the United States, said LoRusso. Of these, 70% harbor the BRCA1
mutation, she said, and 20% the BRCA2
This drug class targets poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, a pivotal protein in the repair of strand breaks in DNA. “DNA repair is really quite important in breast cancer cells in general because that’s what allows them to continue to grow and metastasize and obviously kill the host,” explained LoRusso. In patients with BRCA
-mutated cells, PARP inhibitors increase DNA double-strand breaks and the death of homologous recombination–deficient cells, contributing to cell death. In normal cells, noted LoRusso, even with PARP inhibitors present, the cells can repair by homologous recombination and the tumor cells goes on to survive and do further damage.
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