AbbVie’s investigational oral PARP inhibitor veliparib was not effective against early-stage triple-negative breast cancer when given in combination with chemotherapy, the company recently announced. Despite the drawback, AbbVie researchers believe there is a place for PARP inhibitors in cancers with abnormal DNA repair, including those with BRCA mutations. The Phase 3 trial (NCT02032277) included 312 patients, randomized to receive various combinations of treatments or placebo. One group was treated with veliparib in combination with the two chemotherapies Paraplatin (carboplatin) and paclitaxel. Another group received placebo and the two chemotherapy treatments, and a third group received placebo and paclitaxel. After this initial treatment, all patients received Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and cyclophosphamide. The main outcome measure of the trial was a complete response. But even though AbbVie announced that the trial did not meet this endpoint, they did not disclose details. Instead, they referred to a future publication of results. The same approach was tested in patients with lung cancer, but the treatment also failed in this group of patients. "Research shows there is a role for PARP inhibitors in cancers associated with DNA repair deficits, such as those with BRCA mutations,” Gary Gordon, MD, PhD, and vice president of oncology clinical development at AbbVie, said in a press release.