Newswise — A current New England Journal of Medicine study indicates that the use of the PARP inhibitor iniparib in combination with standard chemotherapy to treat metastatic triple-negative breast cancer offers a significant increase in clinical benefit, a measure of durable response or disease stabilization, as well as an increase in progression-free survival.

NEJM is releasing the study in its Online First edition on Wednesday, January 5, where it will be published with an editorial written by Lisa A. Carey, MD, professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the UNC Breast Center and Norman E. Sharpless, MD, professor of Medicine and Genetics. Both are faculty in the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, where Carey is Associate Director of Clinical Science and Sharpless is Associate Director of Translational Research.

In the editorial, the UNC researchers explain the excitement about this new class of drugs and the importance of this trial. They also highlight the reasons that caution as well as enthusiasm is warranted. The authors look forward to the confirmation of these results in a larger, phase 3 trial as well as trials to answer important research questions about triple negative breast cancer, PARP inhibitor mechanism of action, long-term safety and efficacy.