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Cancer Treatment

Read about different genes that are linked to hereditary cancer, their associated risks and guidelines for screening, preventing and treating cancers in people with inherited mutations in these genes.

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Cancer Treatment for People with an Inherited Mutation

Inherited mutations may affect treatment options or eligibility for clinical trials studying which treatments work best. The following are examples of situations where a mutation may affect cancer treatment decisions. 

PARP inhibitors for advanced cancers

PARP inhibitors are a type of that work by blocking a protein used to repair damaged . People with a mutation who have been diagnosed with cancer may want to ask their doctor about whether they might benefit from a clinical trial or treatment with a

PARP inhibitors for treating prostate cancer

The , Lynparza () has FDA-approval to treat , in people who have a mutation in or other genes linked to a certain type of  damage repair. 

PARP inhibitors for advanced ovarian,  or primary peritoneal cancer

Several PARP inhibitors have been approved to treat ovarian cancers at different stages of the disease. In some situations, a tumor known as an  test ("hemologous recombination deficiency") can help identify which ovarian cancers may respond to treatment with a .

after  treatment

  •  testing can help women with advanced ovarian cancer learn if they may benefit from the , Lynparza () in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab) as  after  platinum chemotherapy.
  • () is approved for  in women with advanced ovarian, , or primary peritoneal cancer who had a complete or partial response to  platinum-based chemotherapy.  for  does not require an  test. 

 after treatment of recurrent cancer

  • , () and Lynparza are all approved for maintenance therapy in women with recurrent epithelial ovarian, , or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum based chemotherapy. In this setting, none of these drugs requires an  test. 

To learn more about treatment options for specific types of cancer, visit our section on Cancer Treatment by Cancer Type

PARP inhibitors for advanced cancers with no other treatment options

If you have a mutation and advanced cancer that no longer responds to standard therapy, you may want to talk with your doctor about whether you might benefit from treatment with a 

Get Support
Get Support

FORCE offers many peer support programs for people with inherited mutations. 

Paying For Care
Paying For Care

Paying for cancer treatment

The majority of public and private health insurance plans are required to cover cancer diagnosis and treatment; copays, coinsurance and deductibles often apply. Patient costs and coverage for specific doctors, facilities or treatments may vary based on your health plan. Visit our section on Insurance and Paying for Care: Treatment  for more information, links to sample appeal letters and other resources. 

If you need information about finding an insurance plan, watch our video: Choosing Wisely: How to Pick Insurance Plans.

Some pharmaceutical companies have assistance programs that help cover the cost for their medications: 

Organizations that offer co-pay assistance:

Other resources:

  • The American Cancer Society provides information and resources on covering the cost of cancer care. Public assistance, such as Medicaid may be available if you are ineligible for other programs. 
  • Needy Meds: Assistance programs to help patients with cost of medications and other healthcare.
  • Triage Cancer offers tools and resources to help individuals cope with the financial aspects of a cancer diagnosis.

Open Clinical Trials
Open Clinical Trials

The following studies are looking at treatment for people with advanced


Last updated November 28, 2023