Breast Cancer Drugs May Also Be Effective Against Some Lung Cancers

A class of drugs already in clinical trials for breast and ovarian cancer, so-called PARP inhibitors, may also be effective against some forms of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Around half of all NSCLC tumors have low levels of ERCC1, a protein that helps repair damaged DNA. PARP inhibitors act by blocking a different DNA repair mechanism. This creates a one-two punch that kills the NSCLC tumor cells that are low in ERCC1, while healthy cells remain relatively unharmed. A recent cell culture study showed that PARP inhibitors like olaparib, niraparib, and BMN 673 killed ERCC1-deficient NSCLC cells, but not cells with normal ERCC1 levels.

Personalized Therapy Targeted to Breast and Ovarian Cancer Is Beneficial for Treating Prostate and Pancreatic Cancer

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Sheba Medical Center in Israel conducted a large multi-center study involving close to 300 patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and advanced cancer. The study looked at the effect of treating various types of cancer, including prostate and pancreatic cancer, with a drug called olaparib, a PARP inhibitor. This is the largest study to date that has evaluated the effect of this type of treatment on diseases other than breast and ovarian cancer. The researchers say that targeting BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations is an important advancement in tailoring personalized treatments for any type of cancer.

PARP Inhibitor Shows Activity in Pancreatic, Prostate Cancers Among Patients Carrying BRCA Mutations

In the largest clinical trial to date to examine the efficacy of PARP inhibitor therapy in BRCA 1/2 carriers with diseases other than breast and ovarian cancer, the oral drug olaparib was found to be effective against advanced pancreatic and…