Niraparib activates interferon signaling and potentiates anti-PD-1 antibody efficacy in tumor models

Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 12;9(1):1853. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-38534-6.


PARP inhibitors have been proven clinically efficacious in platinum-responsive ovarian cancer regardless of BRCA1/2 status and in breast cancers with germline BRCA1/2 mutation. However, resistance to PARP inhibitors may preexist or evolve during treatment in many cancer types and may be overcome by combining PARP inhibitors with other therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, which confer durable responses and are rapidly becoming the standard of care for multiple tumor types. This study investigated the therapeutic potential of combining niraparib, a highly selective PARP1/2 inhibitor, with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors in preclinical tumor models. Our results indicate that niraparib treatment increases the activity of the type I (alpha) and type II (gamma) interferon pathways and enhances the infiltration of CD8+ cells and CD4+ cells in tumors. When coadministered in immunocompetent models, the combination of niraparib and anti-PD-1 demonstrated synergistic antitumor activities in both BRCA-proficient and BRCA-deficient tumors. Interestingly, mice with tumors cured by niraparib monotherapy completely rejected tumor growth upon rechallenge with the same tumor cell line, suggesting the potential establishment of immune memory in animals treated with niraparib monotherapy. Taken together, our findings uncovered immunomodulatory effects of niraparib that may sensitize tumors to immune checkpoint blockade therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Indazoles / pharmacology*
  • Interferons / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA1 protein, human
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • BRCA2 protein, human
  • Indazoles
  • PDCD1 protein, human
  • Piperidines
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • Interferons
  • niraparib