Novel PARP Inhibitors Boosting the Activity of Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy

Release Date: 21-Nov-2020

There are hundreds of cancer types in the world and the discovery of PARP inhibitors have remained successful in transforming the treatment strategy of breast, ovarian as well as prostate cancer. The researchers involved in the development of PARP inhibitors are completely focused on finding the mechanisms through which blocking DNA repair could expose a weak point in the cancer cells. A group of researchers found that by inhibiting some of the DNA repair enzymes, cancer cells could be killed. It was found by the researchers that chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy are partly predicated on the increased susceptibility of rapidly dividing cancer cells to DNA damage.


The mechanism of action of chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy chemotherapy activate the DNA repair system, whereas the cells that escape such therapies are heavily dependent on such systems. Therefore, it was concluded by the researchers that suppression of DNA repair could make the already available cancer therapies more effective. Another group of researchers who were also working on similar work, discovered that some of the DNA repair enzymes called as PARP. The protein is found to be binding and activating the single-stranded breaks in the DNA for the synthesis of ADP-ribose molecules that recruit the enzymatic machinery that will repair that breakage.


It was analyzed by the researchers that addition of such DNA repair enzymes could enhance the activity of therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy in destroying the cancer cells. The drug that works by similar mechanism of action is called as Olaparib, under the brand name of Lynparza. Another group of researchers discovered and developed rucaparib. Some other drugs that were after approved were niraparib and talazoparib. All the drugs that were developed by the companies led to the understanding of the potential of PARP inhibitors in cancer treatment. It is also analyzed by the researchers that PARP inhibitors could also treat the cancers that are driven by mutation in the BRCA gene. Further researches are getting conducted to evaluate the future applications of the PARP inhibitors in treating other types of cancers.


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