Risk of Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Myeloid Leukemia May Increase with PARP Inhibitors

Poly (ADP-Ribose) polymerase inhibitors (PARP inhibitors) are used to treat neoplasms. They are frequently used as a therapy for ovarian cancer. A recent study has attempted to detect the possibility of rare adverse effects of this therapy. Specifically, the prevalence of developing myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

The Study

This investigation was conducted by Normandie University in France. It has been published in the Journal of Lancet Hematology. 

The team conducted a systematic review of previous data in order to determine the prevalence of MDS and AML following PARP inhibitor treatment compared to placebo. They also desired to understand the symptoms of MDS and AML in relation to PARP inhibitors.

The investigation included a total of 5,693 individuals who were on a PARP inhibitor. Another 3,406 individuals were in the control group.

The primary outcome of the study was the development of MDS or AML. Clinical features were also documented.


PARP inhibitors were found to significantly increase the likelihood of AML or MDS development. The incidence was  .73% for those using an inhibitor compared to .47%  for the placebo group.

A total of 99 cases of MDS and 79 cases of AML were documented.

The median treatment duration with PARP inhibitors was 9.8 months. In general, it took 17.8 months for the conditions to develop following the PARP inhibitor treatment.

The research team concluded that more research on these outcomes is needed. However, this initial study illuminates the importance of this inquiry and will hopefully lead to better understanding of PARP inhibitors, and better outcomes for patients.

You can read more about this investigation here.

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