Scott Kaufmann fears a rush to judgement. He studies DNA-repair proteins called poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases, or PARPs, that have shown promise as targets for anticancer drugs. Until early last year, compounds that inhibit PARPs were the next big thing in cancer drug development (see ‘Suspect class’). Then, a leading candidate PARP inhibitor called iniparib failed a phase III clinical trial for a form of breast cancer, and Kaufmann, a biomedical scientist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, was dismayed to find that cancer researchers seemed to be giving up on PARP inhibitors as a whole.
Nature by Heidi Ledford 3/28/12