PARP Inhibitors Promising as Maintenance After Ovarian Cancer Remission

Maurie Markman, MD


August 23, 2016

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Hello. I'm Dr Maurie Markman from Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia. I want to briefly comment on some recent developments in the use of PARP inhibitors in the management of ovarian cancer. At the most recent ASCO meeting, Dr Jonathan A. Ledermann presented updated data on the randomized phase 2 double-blind, placebo-controlled trial[1] looking at olaparib as a second-line maintenance strategy in ovarian cancer. There were a couple of very important developments in this trial that have already been published twice in a peer-reviewed journal.

First, the study demonstrated an overall survival advantage associated with the use of olaparib in the second-line maintenance setting, particularly in the patient population that had a BRCA mutation. But equally important is the fact that in this patient population, as many as 12% or 13% of patients have been on olaparib for longer than 5 years. And, importantly, there have been no new cases of myelodysplastic syndrome or acute leukemia reported in this patient population since the last report in the peer-reviewed literature, which was now a number of years ago. This is encouraging information but certainly not definitive regarding the potential risk for myelodysplastic syndrome and acute leukemia with the use of these agents.

Second, we have a recent press release[2]—and I emphasize that it's only a press release—from another PARP inhibitor, niraparib. The results, as I understand, will be reported at an international meeting in the coming months. But again, it's demonstrating an improvement in progression-free survival, by the press release, in a patient population similar to that of the olaparib trial.

So we now have two trials demonstrating that the use of a PARP inhibitor as a maintenance strategy after a second remission of ovarian cancer substantially prolongs the time to subsequent disease progression. Again, it's a very exciting development, and we are certainly all awaiting the results of both the abstract to be presented on the niraparib trial in peer-reviewed publications, as well as the results of other ongoing trials with the use of PARP inhibitors in ovarian cancer. I thank you for your attention.


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