Does the Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase Inhibitor Veliparib Merit Further Study for Cancer-Associated Weight Loss? Observations and Conclusions from Sixty Prospectively Treated Patients

Jason Doles, Kelly A. Hogan, Jennifer O'Connor, Andrea E Wahner Hendrickson, Olivia Huston, Aminah Jatoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: More than 80% of patients with advanced cancer develop weight loss. Because preclinical data suggest poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors can treat this weight loss, this study was undertaken to explore the PARP inhibitor veliparib for this indication. Objective: The current study was undertaken to analyze prospectively gathered data on weight in cancer patients on PARP inhibitors. Design/Setting: The current study relied on a previously published, prospectively conducted phase 1 single institution trial that combined veliparib and topotecan (NCT01012817) as antineoplastic therapy for advanced cancer patients. Serial weight data and, when available and clinically relevant, computerized tomography scans were also examined. Measurements: The primary endpoint was 10% or greater weight gain from trial enrollment. Results: Nearly all 60 patients lost weight over time. Only one patient manifested a 10% or greater gain in weight. However, review of computerized tomography L3 images showed this weight gain was a manifestation of ascites. Four other patients gained 5% of their baseline weight. However, findings in two patients with available radiographs showed no evidence of muscle augmentation. Conclusions: The addition of the PARP inhibitor veliparib to chemotherapy does not appear to result in notable weight gain or in weight maintenance in patients with advanced cancer. Interventions other than PARP inhibitors should be considered for the palliation/treatment of cancer-associated weight loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1334-1338
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018



  • cachexia
  • cancer
  • veliparib
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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