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Personalizing Cancer Care: PARP Inhibitor + Hormone Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer

Study to determine if prostate cancer patients with prevalent gene-fusion mutation benefit from addition of PARP inhibitors to Hormone Therapy

hormone therapy prostate cancerJune 4, 2013 -- About half of all patients with prostate cancer harbor a gene-fusion mutation (TMPRSS2-ERG) that may make their cancers more susceptible to hormone therapy used to treat the disease. Now, a new Phase II clinical trial will analyze if men with this mutation who have metastatic, treatment-resistant prostate cancer also respond better to another class of drug known as a PARP inhibitor when given in combination with hormone therapy. The clinical study will be led by researchers from the University of Michigan and be conducted at 11 sites across the country.

A study investigator, PCF-funded researcher Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan, director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Translational Pathology reports that they hope to enroll about 170 patients for this study.

Will PARP inhibitors + Hormone Therapy = Better Outcomes for subset of men with prostate cancer?

PARP1 is an enzyme essential to DNA repair. Another PCF-funded researcher Dr. Karen Knudsen and colleagues discovered that prostate cancer cells often rely on PARP1 to grow and thrive. Knudsen’s laboratory showed that PARP inhibitors can block tumor growth and cause cancer cell death. PARP inhibitors can also improve the response to hormone therapy commonly used to treat advanced prostate cancer.

The new clinical trial will first determine men’s TMPRSS2-ERG fusion status. Patient’s will then be selected to either receive a PARP inhibitor known as veliparib together with hormone therapy Zytigia or just hormone therapy alone.

Personalizing therapy for men with prostate cancer

The goal is to determine if patients who test positive for the gene-fusion mutation respond differently to either of the treatment arms and if those with the mutation benefit from the addition of PARP inhibitor to their treatment regimen.

Based on data out of other early clinical trials, PARP inhibitors may extend survival when used in combination with traditional therapies. This study will further define specific patient populations likely to benefit from the use of PARP inhibitors.

Funding for the study was provided in part by the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

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