PARP inhibitors can be used to treat advanced prostate cancer

A recent clinical trial found that PARP inhibitors can be used to treat advanced male prostate cancer with BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutations. The relevant results of the study have been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In the United States, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. Metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is an incurable subtype of prostate cancer. Even if the testosterone level in the body drops to a very low level, mCRPC will continue to develop.

PARP inhibitors have been successfully used to treat ovarian cancer and certain inherited breast and pancreatic cancers. Rucaparib (trademark Rubraca) is one of the new anticancer drugs called poly ADP-ribose polymerase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors. The role of Rucaparib is to target cancer cells, which are defective in repairing DNA damage.

Dr. Akash Patnaik of the national authority on prostate cancer research at the University of Chicago Medicine and his colleagues found that approximately 12% of patients with advanced prostate cancer have BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations. Dr. Akash Patnaik and his colleagues recruited 115 patients whose genetic screening results showed abnormalities in their BRCA genes, and then asked these patients to take 600 mg rucaparib twice a day. The results showed that the objective response rate was 41%, and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of more than half of the patients (53.9%) was improved.

The researchers also pointed out that, in addition to being proven to have significant anti-cancer effects for mCRPC patients, the safety of rucaparib is consistent with the that reported in other solid tumor types.


1. Wassim Abida et al, Rucaparib in Men With Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Harboring a BRCA1 or BRCA2 Gene Alteration, Journal of Clinical Oncology (2020).