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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor  listen  (PAH-lee (... RY-bose) puh-LIH-meh-rays in-HIH-bih-ter)

  A substance that blocks an enzyme involved in many functions of the cell, including the repair of DNA damage. DNA damage may be caused by normal cell actions, UV light, some anticancer drugs, and radiation used to treat cancer. It may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of targeted therapy. Also called PARP inhibitor.