the leading cause of mortality amongst all gynecological cancers in the Western
countries. Most ovarian cancers respond
to platinum-based therapy. However relapses occur after certain phases of
Olaparib, an experimental chemotherapeutic agent, is a poly-adenosine
diphosphate ribose inhibitor showing anti-tumor activity amongst patients with BRCA1/2 mutations. BRCA1/2 mutations predispose patients to
certain types of breast and ovarian cancers.
Dr. Jonathan Ledermann and co-researchers
conducted a phase-2 trial funded by AstraZeneca and evaluated the
efficacy of Olaparib in the maintenance treatment in patients with
platinum-sensitive relapsed high-grade serous ovarian cancer. A standard
approach to treat high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma includes cyto-reductive
therapy followed by platinum-based therapy.
The study involved 265 patients, 136 of whom were assigned Olaparib and
129 were placed on placebo.
Olaparib was administered at a dose of 400 mg twice daily. The
researchers noted a significant improvement in the progression-free survival
rate with Olaparib. However, it was also noted that there was no overall
The toxicity profile of Olaparib was found to be similar to the
previous study outcomes.
Reference: Olaparib Maintenance Therapy in Platinum-Sensitive
Relapsed Ovarian Cancer; Jonathan Ledermann et al; N
Engl J Med 2012; 366:1382-1392.