Lynparza (olaparib) improves progression-free survival (PFS) when used to treat BRCA-mutated pancreatic cancer and appears to represent a new treatment option for this hard to treat cancer. (1-4)
About BRCA Mutated Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of the most common cancers and less than seven percent of patients survive more than five years after diagnosis. Germline BRCA-mutated pancreatic cancer accounts for ~7% of all pancreatic cancers.2
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce proteins responsible for repairing damaged DNA. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered DNA damage may not be repaired properly, and the cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer.
Lynparza (olaparib) is a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor. The PARP enzyme plays a role in DNA repair, including the repair of DNA damage from chemotherapy. Precision cancer medicines that target and inhibit this enzyme may contribute to cancer cell death and increased sensitivity to chemotherapy and are called PARP inhibitors. By blocking this enzyme, DNA inside the cancerous cells is less likely to be repaired, leading to cell death and possibly a slow-down or stoppage of tumor growth.
Inhibition of PARP with Lynparza leads to the trapping of PARP bound to DNA single-strand breaks, stalling of replication forks, their collapse and the generation of DNA double-strand breaks and cancer cell death. Lynparza is being tested in a range of PARP-dependent cancer types.
About the POLO Clinical Trial
The POLO clinical trial evaluated the effectiveness of Lynparza tablets as 1st-line maintenance therapy in 154 patients with gBRCAm metastatic pancreatic cancer whose disease had not progressed following treatment with 1st-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients were treated with Lynparza or placebo and directly compared.
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