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Breast Cancer Drugs are More Effective Than Standard Prostate Cancer Therapy



A recent study revealed that a drug already approved for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer is more effective than targeted hormone therapy to control cancer in some patients with advanced prostate cancer. An important clinical trial reports that a drug already approved for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer is more effective than targeted hormone therapy to control cancer in some patients with advanced prostate cancer.


Olapani is a drug without the side effects of chemotherapy that can treat the Achilles heel in prostate cancer, that is, a weak ability to repair damaged DNA. Now, it is being approved as the first gene-targeted therapy for prostate cancer.

This precise drug, called a PARP inhibitor, specifically targets cancer cells with defective DNA repair genes and prevents prostate cancer growth more effectively than modern targeted hormone treatments abiraterone and enzalutamide.

The final results of this far-reaching trial, published in The New England Journal of Medicine today, involve landmark approval of prostate cancer in the United States and Europe this year. This study was funded by AstraZeneca.

A team of researchers from the London Cancer Institute and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation, along with colleagues from around the world, including Northwestern University in Chicago, USA, studied 387 patients with advanced prostate cancer whose 15 DNA repair genes were altered. The researchers found that the use of olaparib in men with defects in this group of DNA repair genes significantly delayed the progression of the disease.

Prostate cancer patients with BRCA1, BRCA2, or ATM gene deficiency benefit most from olaparib treatment and have a progression-free survival of 7.4 months compared to 3.6 months for patients taking enzalutamide and abiraterone.

Men with 12 additional preselected alterations in DNA repair genes also benefit from olaparib.

In general, males with defects in any of the 15 DNA repair genes had an average of 5.8 months before their cancer worsened following the use of oraparib, compared with 3.5 months for males using targeted hormone therapy.


Abiraterone, discovered by the Cancer Institute (ICR) and developed by the ICR and Royal Marsden, has changed the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Investigators are excited about the prospect of olaparib because ICR has discovered a genetically targeted approach and olaparib may be more effective than abiraterone in men with DNA repair mutations.

Men with BRCA1, BRCA2 or ATM gene defects had a total survival of 19 months after olaparib treatment compared to 15 months after enzalutamide and abiraterone treatment - although 80% of patients switched to olaparib after cancer progression and metastasis. However, longer follow-up is required to finally show an improvement in survival.

The most common side effects were anemia and nausea. But generally, olaparib is a well-tolerated treatment that works much better for patients than chemotherapy.

PROfound is the first trial to show how important genetic testing is in prostate cancer patients. It is important to determine the treatment options for different patient populations based on their genes.


Researchers now hope that within the next two years, olaparib can be used to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer who have defective DNA repair genes.


In the next step, they will consider combining olaparib with other treatments to further improve efficacy.


Johann de Bono, professor of experimental cancer medicine at the London Cancer Institute and consultant in medical oncology at the Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation, one of the study leaders, made it understood that : "Our findings suggest that olaparib, a drug targeted to the Achilles heel of cancer cells without damaging normal, normal cells is more effective than targeted hormone therapy in some advanced prostate cancer patients It is exciting to see that a drug has prolonged the lives of many patients with ovarian and breast cancer and now shows such a significant benefit in treating prostate cancer. I can't wait to see the drug begin to be applied to men who may benefit from it.
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