On January 12, 2018, the FDA approved the first PARP Inhibitor (Lynparza) for treatment in patients with advanced breast cancer due to inherited BRCA mutations.1 This drug is already approved for certain BRCA carriers for advanced ovarian cancer. PARP inhibitors were originally developed to target the specific pathway through which cancer develops among those with a BRCA mutation. This latest approval demonstrates that developing drugs to target the underlying genetic cause of cancer can be used across cancer types. The approval of this drug was based on a recently published trial which showed that the drug delayed disease progression, which may help preserve quality of life by delaying the use of chemotherapy.2 It remains to be determined whether further improvements in treatment with this drug can be achieved through using it in combination with other drugs.
2Robson et al. N Engl J Med. 2017 Aug 10;377(6):523-533. PMID: 28578601.