Question asked by: 
Date asked: 
Sep 2018

Is there evidence that PARP drugs may be used for long-term new tumour formation prevention? For example as an alternative to drastic surgery for individuals tested as BRCA positive?

Could PARP drugs be used as an alternative to surgery?
Response by Dr Shibani Nicum, Guest Expert, Ask the Experts Conference 2018
Dr Shibani Nicum

For the first treatment of newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, the role of PARP inhibitors is being investigated and the recommendation is very much for the use of these agents (drugs) following surgery and chemotherapy, which remain the best available treatment for women with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer. There is no role, in this setting, for PARP inhibitors to be used instead of surgery.

For recurrent ovarian cancer, PARP inhibitors are being studied within clinical trials instead of chemotherapy and one agent, rucaparib has recently been approved in the EU as a treatment for relapsed ovarian cancer for women who:

  • have a BRCA mutation, and
  • have had 2 previous lines of chemotherapy, and
  • can’t tolerate further platinum chemotherapy, although they remain sensitive to it.