PARP is a promising new therapy for thoracic cancers like mesothelioma. PARP is short for Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase.
PARP is involved in repairing damaged DNA in cells. PARP can work against the effects of chemotherapy by repairing damaged tumor cells. This action allows the tumors to keep growing. If doctors can block PARP in patients with thoracic cancer, they might be able to stop the growth of tumors.
A New Hope for Mesothelioma Patients
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that covers the organs in the chest, abdomen, and other areas. The most common cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or swallowed, they can cause inflammation that leads to cancer.
Mesothelioma can be difficult to treat because it can take decades for symptoms to appear after someone is exposed to asbestos. Common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, weight loss, and fatigue.
Because these symptoms can be the same as other respiratory conditions, mesothelioma is hard to diagnose in its early stages.
Unraveling the Promise of PARP Inhibitors
The treatment for mesothelioma depends on things like the stage of the cancer, the location of the tumor, and the health of the patient. A treatment plan most likely includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. It might also include immunotherapy or other targeted therapies.
Scientists and doctors have recently been exploring the use of PARP inhibitors combined with other treatments like chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
There are many ongoing clinical trials that look at the effectiveness and safety of PARP inhibitors, so this may become an accepted treatment option in the future. The most promising treatment combination is PARP inhibitors with immunotherapy. The FDA has already approved the use of PARP inhibitors in certain types of prostate, ovarian, breast, and pancreatic cancers.
Some challenges to using PARP inhibitors are resistance and side effects. Scientists are looking at using nanomedicine technology to address these challenges. They are also interested in studying the genes of cancer tumors like mesothelioma so doctors can choose the right patients for these experimental treatments.
Parisi A, Rossi F, De Filippis C, et al. Current Evidence and Future Perspectives about the Role of PARP Inhibitors in the Treatment of Thoracic Cancers. Onco Targets Ther. 2023;16:585-613. Published 2023 Jul 18. doi:10.2147/OTT.S272563. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10362869/