Personalised Medicine

Targeting genetic alterations in Cancer

As we learn more about the genetic alterations that cause and drive cancer, the medical community is developing more and more drugs that can target these alterations, to prevent and treat cancer. 


PARP inhibitors are a specific type of drug that have shown promising results in research trials in treatment of cancers associated with BRCA gene alterations. At the present time, these drugs are being investigated for their use in breast, prostate, pancreatic, and other cancers, but are only available outside of a research setting in the treatment of advanced stage ovarian cancer. Here below, Dr McVeigh describes how these drugs work, and what type of tests can determine if PARP inhibitors might be useful in a patient's cancer treatment.