PARP inhibitors are available to almost all women, though women with BRCA gene mutations or who are HRD proficient may benefit the most from these drugs. Most recently, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released new guidelines recommending PARP inhibitors be offered to women, with or without genetic mutations, who are newly diagnosed with stage III or IV ovarian cancer and have improved with chemotherapy.
Overall, it is possible to manage some of the side effects of PARP inhibitors and of course, you need to work with your doctor to determine what works best for you.Read More
Common side effects of PARP inhibitors include:
- Fatigue; this is the most common side effect that women experience
- Nausea; To tackle this, doctors often give patients an anti-nausea medication. Dr. Kellie Rath, however, says that the nausea that her patients experience is usually mild enough to fix by taking the drug with food.
- Drop in red and white blood cell counts (since the bone-marrow makes red and white blood cells, any interference from the medication can cause a drop in these types of cells. This can lead to problems with the immune system and can cause fatigue and light-headedness.)
- Drop in platelet count (Platelets are helpful to blood clotting, so low platelet counts can cause excessive bleeding, easy bruising, and blood in the urine or stool.)