A cancer drug meant to treat breast and ovarian cancer is proving to be an effective treatment for 80 percent of men with prostate cancer that had BRCA-mutant tumors.
Currently, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. In fact, 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in their life. Although a serious disease, prostate cancer is treatable and more than 1.9 million men in the U.S. are survivors of prostate cancer. With the many advances in medicine, it is no surprise that a treatment for one cancer may also be effective for other types of cancer.
Olaparib for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Olaparib is meant to target cancer cells that can’t properly and effectively repair their own DNA. It was just recently approved to treat late-stage breast cancer with a rare genetic mutation. Also, olaparib is much more effective than chemotherapy, but less toxic than chemotherapy, meaning the side effects aren’t as strong as chemotherapy.
Olaparib Clinical Study
In a recently completed phase II clinical trial, called TOPARP-B, The Institute of Cancer Research London and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust wanted to find out if olaparib showed similar effects to prostate cancer tumors as it did to breast and ovarian cancer tumors.
The results showed that:
- 47 percent of men with BRCA-mutant tumors had a delay in prostate cancer progression for an average of about 5.5 months, which is 2.7 months longer than phase I of the trial.
- Initially, the researchers screened the tumors of 592 men with prostate cancer and found that 27 percent of those men had one or more genes with the BRCA-mutation.
- Ultimately, 98 patients with the BRCA-mutations on their tumor were enrolled in the clinical trial.
- In addition to the BRCA-mutations, 57 percent of patients with the PALB2 mutation also responded to olaparib.
Furthering Prostate Cancer Treatments
Researchers were excited about the results of the clinical trial because of the power of genetic targeting and precision medicine. This trial shows the versatility of olaparib and how it can be used to treat other cancers. Phase III of the trial is already underway and researchers are even more excited about those results because it could mean additional treatment options for prostate cancer. The goal is have this treatment available for prostate cancer patients within the next few years.
For more information about the type of prostate cancer treatments that Ackerman Cancer Center offers, please visit our website or call 904-880-5522.