A very long-acting PARP inhibitor suppresses cancer cell growth in DNA repair-deficient tumor models

Shaun D. Fontaine, Gary W. Ashley, Peter J. Houghton, Raushan T. Kurmasheva, Morgan Diolaiti, Alan Ashworth, Cody J. Peer, Ryan Nguyen, William D. Figg, Denis R. Beckford-Vera, Daniel V. Santi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


PARP inhibitors are approved for treatment of cancers with BRCA1 or BRCA2 defects. In this study, we prepared and characterized a very long-acting PARP inhibitor. Synthesis of a macromolecular prodrug of talazoparib (TLZ) was achieved by covalent conjugation to a PEG40kDa carrier via a b-eliminative releasable linker. A single injection of the PEG~TLZ conjugate was as effective as ~30 daily oral doses of TLZ in growth suppression of homologous recombination-defective tumors in mouse xenografts. These included the KT-10 Wilms’ tumor with a PALB2 mutation, the BRCA1-deficient MX-1 triple-negative breast cancer, and the BRCA2-deficient DLD-1 colon cancer; the prodrug did not inhibit an isogenic DLD-1 tumor with wild-type BRCA2. Although the half-life of PEG~TLZ and released TLZ in the mouse was only ~1 day, the exposure of released TLZ from a single safe, effective dose of the prodrug exceeded that of oral TLZ given daily over one month. mPET/CT imaging showed high uptake and prolonged retention of an 89Zr-labeled surrogate of PEG~TLZ in the MX-1 BRCA1-deficient tumor. These data suggest that the long-lasting antitumor effect of the prodrug is due to a combination of its long t1/2, the high exposure of TLZ released from the prodrug, increased tumor sensitivity upon continued exposure, and tumor accumulation. Using pharmacokinetic parameters of TLZ in humans, we designed a long-acting PEG~TLZ for humans that may be superior in efficacy to daily oral TLZ and would be useful for treatment of PARP inhibitor-sensitive cancers in which oral medications are not tolerated. Significance: These findings demonstrate that a single injection of a long-acting prodrug of the PARP inhibitor talazoparib in murine xenografts provides tumor suppression equivalent to a month of daily dosing of talazoparib.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1086
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


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