Breast Cancer Drug Proves Promising in Phase III Clinical Trials

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Women who have been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer – carrying the BRCA1 & BRCA2 gene mutations, an experimental cancer drug can help in improving the overall survival rates.

The BRCA mutations are usually linked to enhancing the risk for aggressive ovarian cancer & breast cancer. The drug, namely “talazoparib,” is known for working by blocking the enzyme known as PARP (Poly ADP ribose polymerase). Thus, the drug has been effective in preventing cancer cells from killing the cells that are healthy.

In the phase III clinical trials of as many as 431 women –the trials were funded by the makers of the drug, the women who received the drug “talazoparib” were known to live longer without any progression of the cancer cells than those who received the standard chemotherapy sessions by an average of around three months.

Dr. Jennifer Litton –the lead researcher at the University of Texas, said that for women having metastatic cancer and BRCA mutation, the drugs which acted as PARP inhibitors could be highly recommended.

When the mutations are working properly, BRCA can actually help in repairing the damaged DNA and preventing tumors, while BRCA1 & BRCA2 go against each other and could encourage the breast cancer cells.

The PARP inhibitors are known to block the additional DNA repairing pathway. The anti-tumor effects of the drug “talazoparib” –the PARP inhibitor can be encouraged in the patients having BRCA mutations. Hopes still continue towards investigating the utilization of the PARP inhibitors in the patients having breast cancer with BRCA mutations.