Olaparib, a Breast Cancer Drug to Aid in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer, Study Suggests

Jan, 2021 - by CMI

According to the clinical trial piloted by the researchers of The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have reported that the drug ‘olaparib’, which is utilized for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer have exhibited its potential to prolong the lives of some men with prostate cancer and might become a standard treatment for the disease. Researchers suggested that this drug can treat prostate cancers with a weakness in their ability to repair damaged DNA, thereby improving survival in men who were given olaparib.

In this PROfound trial, researchers evaluated 387 men with advanced prostate cancer and imperfections in one or over 15 DNA repair genes. These study participants were further categorized into two groups. One group with alterations in the DNA repair genes including BRCA1, BRCA2 or ATM, and other group with changes in other DNA repair genes studied. Moreover, participants were randomly assigned to have olaparib or standard hormone therapy.

In the final analysis of the trial, researchers observed that olaparib obstructed prostate cancer growth more efficiently, in comparison to modern targeted hormone treatments such as abiraterone and enzalutamide. Researchers also reported that patients who received olaparib with genetic alterations in the BRCA1, BRCA2 or ATM exhibited a median overall survival of 19.1 months, in comparison to patients with targeted hormone treatments. Moreover, patients with genetic alterations in any other of the DNA repair genes exhibited an overall survival of 14.1 months with olaparib, in comparison to patients exhibiting 11.5 months with the targeted hormonal drugs.

Professor Johann de Bono, Study co-leader stated, “I'm confident that our results will transform prostate cancer treatment—hopefully very soon. We have shown that olaparib, a drug already approved for use in breast and ovarian cancer, can extend the lives of men with advanced prostate who have defects in the genes BRCA1, BRCA2 or ATM and who have been treated with enzalutamide or abiraterone. The FDA has already approved olaparib for prostate cancer in the US.”