PARP Inhibitor Olaparib Exceeds Expectations in BRCA+ Pancreatic Cancer Management

July 15, 2019
Michael J. Hall, MD, MS

Pancreatic cancer with&nbsp;<em>BRCA1</em>and&nbsp;<em>BRCA2&nbsp;</em>mutations has shown positive responses to the PARP inhibitor olaparib in preliminary trials.&nbsp;

Pancreatic cancer withBRCA1andBRCA2mutations (frequency, 5%-15%) has shown positive responses to the PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza) in preliminary trials. These data were the rationale for conducting the phase III POLO trial, which used olaparib as a maintenance treatment for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer and a germlineBRCAmutation whose first-line treatment was platinum-based chemotherapy.

Michael J. Hall, MD, MS, chair and associate professor in the Department of Clinical Genetics, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and co-researcher for thePOLO trial,says physicians initially doubted the abilities of oral agents like olaparib for pancreatic disease management. So far, however, the results are promising, showing that the study is on the road to meeting its primary and secondary endpoints.

Among the 247 international trial patients with germlineBRCA-mutant pancreatic cancer, progression-free survival was more significant in the olaparib group(7.4 vs 3.8 months; HR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.35-0.82; P