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Discussing Targeted Treatment With PARP Inhibitors for BRCA-Mutant Patients Across Tumor Types

Susan Friedman
Published Online:4:07 PM, Tue June 25, 2019

Susan Friedman, executive director and founder, FORCE, a non-profit organization supporting education, advocacy, and research around breast and ovarian cancer, explains the relevance of PARP inhibitors and the recent developments in oncology research that may improve cancer treatment for patients with genetic mutations.

The introduction of PARP inhibitors to target specific mutations is improving the field of oncology, says Friedman, and is being expanded to other tumor types to treat more patients. During the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting, new data revealed promising outcomes for patients with different tumor types who had BRCA gene mutations. As an organization that supports cancer research, FORCE, was instrumental in finding patients to be included in a number of the clinical trials for which researchers presented results during the meeting. Seeing the promising results was exciting, says Friedman, and leaves FORCE with more helpful information to share with the cancer community.

One presentation that stood out to FORCE was the results of the POLO study. The phase III trial studied post-treatment maintenance with olaparib (Lynparza) in patients with BRCA-mutant metastatic pancreatic cancer. Results from the POLO study showed that olaparib reduced the risk of disease progression by 47% compared with placebo. Because pancreatic cancer has had few advances in recent years, Friedman considers this to be important study.
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