NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,863 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor
(PAH-lee (... RY-bose) puh-LIH-meh-rays in-HIH-bih-ter)
A substance that blocks an enzyme in cells called PARP. PARP helps repair DNA when it becomes damaged. DNA damage may be caused by many things, including exposure to UV light, radiation, certain anticancer drugs, or other substances in the environment. In cancer treatment, blocking PARP may help keep cancer cells from repairing their damaged DNA, causing them to die. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors are a type of targeted therapy. Also called PARP inhibitor.