One of the most promising directions of recent research has been PARP inhibitors. First tested in the treatment of GYN cancers, they are now being examined in clinical trials for breast and other cancers. Once again, these are targeted therapies--hopefully very useful to certain women and irrelevant to others, depending on the specific characteristics of a cancer cell. In breast cancer, there is particular excitement re their benefit in the treatment of triple negative tumors.
Here is a quote from a good article in Cure Today and then a link to read more:
The new year could bring good news to some patients with triple negative breast cancer, ovarian, prostate and maybe other malignancies.
That's when researchers hope to see the results of a phase 3 clinical trial in one of the most promising new classes of drugs to come along in cancer treatment in a while. The drugs—PARP inhibitors—dominated the 2009 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, with study results showing the drugs are effective in certain types of breast cancers that are hard to treat. Interest intensified over the past year. The federal clinical trials database now lists at least two dozen studies involving PARP inhibitors, primarily targeted at breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. "Everybody is very intrigued by this approach, absolutely—this is a very hot topic," says Miguel Villalona-Calero, MD, director of solid tumor experimental therapeutics at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
Research is moving quickly to better understand the drugs, which are designed to block a key enzyme, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. PARP, as the enzyme is better known, is influential in DNA repair.