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Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2016 Aug;14(8):619-27.

The status of poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in ovarian cancer, part 1: olaparib.

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University College London Hospital, London, United Kingdom.
University College London Hospital, Cancer Research UK, UCL Cancer Trials Centre, University College London Cancer Institute, London, United Kingdom.


Poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors have shown promising clinical activity in epithelial ovarian cancer. Following the observation in vitro that PARP inhibition is synthetically lethal in tumors with BRCA mutations, PARP inhibition has become the first genotype-directed therapy for BRCA1- and BRCA2-associated ovarian cancer. However, it is becoming clear that PARP inhibition also may have clinical utility in cancers associated with defects or aberrations in DNA repair that are unrelated to BRCA mutations. Deficient DNA repair mechanisms are present in approximately 30% to 50% of high-grade serous ovarian cancers, the most common histologic subtype. Olaparib is the best-studied PARP inhibitor to date, and a number of phase 3 trials with this agent are underway. This article reviews the development of olaparib for ovarian cancer and discusses the current evidence for its use, ongoing studies, future research directions, and the challenges ahead.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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