Therapeutic drugs that block DNA repair, including poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, fail due to lack of tumor-selectivity. When PARP inhibitors and β-lapachone are combined, synergistic antitumor activity results from sustained NAD(P)H levels that refuel NQO1-dependent futile redox drug recycling. Significant oxygen-consumption-rate/reactive oxygen species cause dramatic DNA lesion increases that are not repaired due to PARP inhibition. In NQO1+ cancers, such as non-small-cell lung, pancreatic, and breast cancers, cell death mechanism switches from PARP1 hyperactivation-mediated programmed necrosis with β-lapachone monotherapy to synergistic tumor-selective, caspase-dependent apoptosis with PARP inhibitors and β-lapachone. Synergistic antitumor efficacy and prolonged survival were noted in human orthotopic pancreatic and non-small-cell lung xenograft models, expanding use and efficacy of PARP inhibitors for human cancer therapy.