- Cancer Biology & Biomarkers
- Chromatography & Mass Spectrometry
- Contract Research, Clinical Trials and Outsourcing
- Drug Discovery
- Drug Targets
- Flow Cytometry
- Informatics & Lab Automation
- Ingredients, Excipients and Dosages
- Microbiology & RMMs
- NIR, PAT & QbD
- Raman Spectroscopy
- Screening, Assays & High-Content Analysis
- Thermal Processing
Landmark clinical trial shows olaparib can treat prostate cancer
29 October 2015 • Author: Victoria White
A pioneering drug developed to treat women with inherited cancers, olaparib (AstraZeneca), can also benefit men with advanced prostate cancer, a major clinical trial concludes.
The trial, led by experts at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, is a milestone in cancer treatment as the first to show the benefits of ‘precision medicine’ in prostate cancer – with treatment matched to the particular genetic characteristics of a man’s tumour.
Olaparib was found to benefit as many as a third of patients with prostate cancer, including many who did not inherit cancer genes but whose tumours had acquired defects in DNA repair.
In the trial, called TOPARP-A, 49 men with treatment-resistant, advanced prostate cancer received olaparib, and 16 of them responded, as defined by a set of clinical criteria. Olaparib stopped prostate cancer growth, generating lasting falls in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, falls in circulating tumour cell counts in the blood, and radiological responses on CT scans and MRI.
The clinical trial found that up to 30% of men with advanced prostate cancer had tumours with defects in their systems for repairing DNA detected by genomic testing – and that these responded particularly well to olaparib. Of the 16 patients with detectable DNA repair mutations, 14 responded very well to olaparib – accounting for the large majority of those who benefited from the drug. Most of these men, who all had terminal prostate cancer with limited treatment options, had disease control lasting much longer than expected in this group of patients.
Olaparib could become a standard treatment option for advanced prostate cancer
The results have led on to the start of TOPARP-B, a second part of this trial in which only men whose prostate cancers have detectable DNA repair mutations will receive olaparib. If the results are successful, olaparib could become a standard treatment option for men with advanced prostate cancer and DNA repair mutations.
The drug, a type of treatment called a PARP inhibitor, was licensed last year for women with ovarian cancer and inherited BRCA mutations, but so far has not been approved for use on the NHS by NICE or the Cancer Drugs Fund.
Trial chief investigator Professor Johann de Bono, Head of Drug Development at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our trial marks a significant step forward in the treatment of prostate cancer, showing that olaparib is highly effective at treating men with DNA repair defects in their tumours. It also proves the principle that we can detect prostate cancers with specific targetable mutations using genomic sequencing to deliver more precise cancer care by matching treatment to those men most likely to benefit.
“I hope it won’t be long before we are using olaparib in the clinic to treat prostate cancer, or before genomic stratification of cancers becomes a standard in this and other cancers.”
ABB Analytical Measurement ACD/Labs ADInstruments Ltd Advanced Analytical Technologies GmbH Analytik Jena AG Astell Scientific Ltd B&W Tek Bachem AG Bibby Scientific Limited Bio-Rad Laboratories BioNavis Ltd Biopharma Group Black Swan Analysis Limited Butterworth Laboratories Ltd CAPSUGEL NV Charles Ischi AG | Kraemer Elektronik Cherwell Laboratories CI Precision Cobalt Light Systems Coulter Partners CPC Biotech srl Dassault Systèmes BIOVIA DiscoverX Edinburgh Instruments Enterprise System Partners (ESP) Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing EUROGENTEC F.P.S. Food and Pharma Systems Srl GE Analytical Instruments IDBS JEOL Europe Kaiser Optical Systems Inc. L.B. Bohle Maschinen + Verfahren GmbH Lab M Ltd. LabWare Linkam Scientific Instruments Limited Lonza MA Business Metrohm Molins Technologies Multicore Dynamics Ltd Nanosurf New England Biolabs, Inc. Ocean Optics Panasonic Biomedical Sales Europe B.V. Peak Scientific ReAgent Russell Finex Limited Sentronic GmbH Source BioScience Takara Clontech Tornado Spectral Systems Tuttnauer Viavi Solutions, Inc Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group Wickham Laboratories Limited WITec GmbH Xylem Analytics YMC Europe GmbH Yusen Logistics