Phase III Trial of PARP Inhibitor (Olaparib) Shows First Evidence of Improved Outcomes in Breast Cancer

The first phase III trial of a PARP inhibitor used to treat breast cancer reported promising data at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. Mark Robson, MD, Clinic Director of the Clinical Genetics Service and medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), led the multicenter, international trial. He presented the study results in the plenary session of the ASCO annual meeting on June 4. “This landmark study is the first to demonstrate that a PARP inhibitor improves outcomes in women with BRCA-mutation-associated breast cancer compared with standard treatment,” explained Dr. Robson. “At MSK, we like to say that breast cancer is often described as a book with many chapters. We see this treatment option as an early chapter in a woman’s journey. The study showed that olaparib is a well-tolerated treatment that can extend the time until chemotherapy is necessary. Olaparib helps patients preserve their quality of life in the crucial early stages of their treatment journey.” Called OlympiAD, the randomized, open-label phase III study assessed the efficacy and safety of olaparib (Lynparza™), an oral PARP inhibitor, versus standard single-agent chemotherapy treatment. All of the patients in the trial had metastatic breast cancer that was caused by an inherited mutation in the gene BRCA1 or BRCA2 — either hormone receptor–positive or triple negative.
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