Niraparib is in clinical development for the treatment of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) with DNA-repair anomalies. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men in the UK. The cancer is called advanced (metastatic) prostate cancer when the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body like bones, lymph nodes outside the pelvis or rarely to the liver or lungs. It is not possible to cure metastatic prostate cancer but is possible to keep it under control. Prostate cancers that continue to grow despite hormonal therapies are called “castration-resistant” prostate cancer. In some mCRPC, mutations in several genes involved in DNA damage repair have been reported and treatments that target these DNA anomalies are being developed.
Niraparib is a medicinal product taken orally. It works by blocking a protein called poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP). It blocks the action of PARP-1 and PARP-2 enzymes that help in repairing damaged DNA in cells when they divide to make new cells. By blocking PARP enzymes, the damaged DNA in cancer cells cannot be repaired, and the cells die. If licensed, niraparib will offer an additional treatment option for men with mCRPC with DNA-repair anomalies.
Pembrolizumab in addition to chemotherapy, followed by maintenance with olaparib is in clinical development for the first line treatment of Breast Cancer Gene (BRCA) non-mutated advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal cancer, or fallopian tube cancer. Ovarian cancer includes a group of tumours that arise from diverse types of tissue contained in the ovary and can often spread from the ovary to any surface within the abdominal cavity including the fallopian tubes and peritoneal cavity. While current treatments exist for these advanced cancers of the female reproductive system, significant unmet medical need remains for more effective treatment options with manageable safety profiles for patients in the first line setting.