The development of poly (adenosine diphosphate [ADP]) ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors (PARPi) has progressed greatly over the last few years and has shown encouraging results in the BRCA1/2 mutation-related cancers. This article attempts to summarize the rationale and theory behind PARPi, the clinical trials already reported, as well as ongoing studies designed to determine the role of PARPi in patients with and without germline mutations of BRCA genes. Future plans for PARPi both as monotherapy and in combination with standard cytotoxics, other biological agents, and as radiosensitizers are also covered. The widening scope of PARPi adds another important targeted agent to the growing list of molecular inhibitors; future and ongoing trials will identify the most effective role for PARPi, including for patients other than BRCA germline mutation carriers.
Keywords: BRCA genes; BRCA germline mutation carriers; PARPi; cytotoxics; germline mutations; radiosensitizers.