PARP inhibitor improves overall response rates in small cell lung cancer patients
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IMAGE: This is Lauren Averett Byers, M.D. view more 

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Credit: MD Anderson Cancer Center

In a randomized, Phase II trial led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, adding the PARP inhibitor veliparib to a standard chemotherapy agent improved overall response rates (ORR) in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Researchers also identified a select group of patients – those whose tumors expressed SLFN11– who also saw a progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) benefit, suggesting a promising biomarker for the PARP-inhibitor sensitivity in SCLC.

The study was published in Journal of Clinical Oncology. Ongoing follow-up studies are underway to confirm the results, which could result in the first new therapeutic option for this rare and aggressive lung cancer in more than three decades, said Lauren Averett Byers, M.D., associate professor of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 234,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 154,050 will die from the disease in 2018, making it the leading cause of cancer death. SCLC primarily is associated with smoking and accounts for about 10 to 15 percent of all lung cancers. While recent advances in immunotherapy and targeted agents have begun

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