As breast cancer being very common among women, BRCA research has found a new drug polymerase inhibitor Olaparib for treating breast cancer. They have already approved this drug for BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer and now they would be doing it for BRCA-mutated breast cancer. It has shown advancement in women with human epidermal growth factor 2 – negative metastatic breast cancer with a germline BRCA mutation when compared with standard therapy. In 2014, US Food and Drug Administration approved Olaparib for the treatment of ovarian cancer having BRCA mutations.
Co-author of the study and executive director of the Basse Research Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center, Susan Domchek, MD said, “Although previous studies suggested olaparib could benefit patients with advanced breast cancers, we are now reporting that olaparib improves profession-free survival better than standard chemotherapy.”
After analyzing for 14 months, the study found that progression-free survival was 2.8 months and the risk of death was 42% lower with olaparib monotherapy than with chemotherapy. PARP is an enzyme that is used by healthy cells for reparation purpose. In contrast, cancer cells use PARP to destroy DNA thus leading to its growth and proving fatal. Olaparib, on the other hand, binds and inhibits PARP, preventing it from repairing DNA damage in cancer cells. It mainly focuses on those cancer cells who have lost BRCA1 and BRCA2 function. This could help in preventing tumors.
Domchek further added, “Observing the previous study conducted, leaders in BRCA research have been advocating for this trial for many years, urging pharmaceutical companies to focus on efforts that are now generating new treatments for our patients.” Mark E. Robson, MD, clinical director of the Clinical Genetics Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is the one who has made this enormous research. The findings would be presented on behalf of them.
Among several trials, Olaparib was the third cancer therapy which indicated the tough situation for treating cancers associated with these gene mutations.