Reassuring Data: Olaparib Dose Reductions Have Minimal Effect

Maurie Markman, MD


September 14, 2022

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

I'm Dr Maurie Markman from Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I wanted to talk briefly about a very important paper that recently appeared in the Annals of Oncology. The paper is titled "The Impact of Olaparib Dose Reduction and Treatment Interruption on Treatment Outcome in the SOLO2/ENGOT-ov21 Platinum-Sensitive Recurrent Ovarian Cancer."

The particular focus of this paper is on what happens if a patient has adverse events during the first couple of months of olaparib therapy and is not able to receive all the drug or all the drug on time. Does this have a negative impact on clinical outcome?

The data that have been published in major journals show that this particular strategy, that is, the use of a PARP inhibitor — in this case, we're talking about olaparib, but there are other PARP inhibitors on the market in various countries — has a major impact when used appropriately in ovarian cancer.

The therapy is oral, and we know that a very large percentage of patients experience some elements of emesis — it may not be vomiting, but maybe nausea or fatigue — that might require lowering the dose. What is the impact on outcome?

These data are extremely reassuring. The investigators looked at receipt of greater than or less than 90% of the scheduled dose. Those individuals who were not able to receive 90% of the dose appear to experience a very similar outcome — which of course, with these drugs in this setting, is very positive.

Again, it is very reassuring that if a patient does have to have a dose interruption, does have to have the dose lowered because of side effects, it is worth doing this and trying to come up with a strategy that works for that patient. If that is successful, the data here suggest very strongly that the clinical outcome can be very favorable.

I encourage those of you who care for patients with ovarian cancer, in particular, and patients and their families to read this important paper in the Annals of Oncology. I thank you for your attention.

Maurie Markman, MD, is president of medicine and science at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia. He has more than 20 years of experience in cancer treatment and gynecologic oncology research.

Follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.