Olaparib and rucaparib for the treatment of DNA repair-deficient metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Benjamin L. Maughan, Emmanuel S. Antonarakis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Metastatic prostate cancer is a heterogeneous disease characterized by clinical and genomic heterogeneity. Many prostate cancers harbor mutations causing DNA repair deficiency, specifically homologous recombination deficiency, sensitizing to drugs that inhibit poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP). PARP is an enzyme that is involved in single-stranded DNA repair and is the target of newly approved treatments for metastatic prostate cancer. Areas Covered: Here, the authors’ review the clinical trials leading to the recent approvals of two PARP inhibitors (PARPi), olaparib and rucaparib, specifically TOPARP-A, TOPARP-B, PROfound and TRITON-2. They also compare the different FDA approvals for both of these medications and outline the safety of this class of drugs in prostate cancer. Expert opinion: Because PARPi are particularly effective in men with somatic or germline alterations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, we recommend that all men be tested for DNA alterations with next-generation sequencing in tumor cells obtained from either tissue or blood. We also recommend that olaparib or rucaparib be considered relatively early in the treatment sequence in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. Other DNA alterations might also sensitize to PARPi though the response rates are lower, so other standard therapies should be prioritized first.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1625-1632
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by National Institutes of Health Cancer Center Support Grant P30CA006973

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Olaparib
  • metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer
  • parp inhibitor
  • rucaparib


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