Skip to main content

15-12-2015 | Ovarian cancer | Article

The development of PARP inhibitors in ovarian cancer: from bench to bedside

Yvette Drew


The nuclear enzyme poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) represents an important novel target in the treatment of ovarian cancer. This article charts over 50 years of research from the discovery of the first PARP enzyme in 1963, to the approval and licensing in 2015 of the first PARP inhibitor, olaparib (Lynparza), in the treatment of BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer.

Br J Cancer 2015; 113 Suppl 1: S3-9. doi:10.1038/bjc.2015.394

Keywords: olaparib; PARP; ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women in developed countries, accounting for 140 000 deaths per year worldwide (World Health Organization, 2008; Siegel et al, 2012). The majority of women present with advanced-stage (3 or 4) disease, where 5-year survival rates are poor at around 27% (Siegel et al, 2012). Despite initial high responses to platinum-based chemotherapy and cytoreductive surgery, more than 70% of these patients will relapse with limited subsequent treatment options (Hanker et al, 2012). There is a pressing need for improved treatments that can extend survival, delay disease progression and maintain quality of life for patients with ovarian cancer.

Please log in to get access to this content

Related topics