A study of Lynparza (olaparib) in combination with abiraterone for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer has shown promising results. The full article can be read here, at Bio Portfolio.
About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men. When a cancer is metastatic it has spread to other areas of the body than those where it originally developed. Often, prostate cancers will stop growing when the level of testosterone in the body is significantly reduced, however, when this is ineffective the prostate cancer is known as castration-resistant. Prostate cancer is usually slow growing and often goes unnoticed for long periods. However, some people may notice symptoms such as frequent or difficult urination. Prostate cancer is estimated to constitute approximately 13% of all cases of cancer.
About the Study
AstraZeneca and Merck (also known as MSD) are studying a drug called lynparza for its possible use as a treatment for mestastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). A Phase 2 clinical trial called Study 08 evaluated the effects of the drug when combined with abiraterone, compared to treatment using abiraterone as a monotherapy, which is the current standard-of-care. The trial was randomised and double-blind (neither patients nor the people administering the treatment knew which treatment group patients were randomly assigned to). In total, 71 patients were assigned to each of the two groups.
The results of the study were recently published in The Lancet Oncology. They suggest that the combination therapy led to, on average (median), a greater radiologic progression-free survival compared to the monotherapy. Progression-free survival is the time during which a patient lives with the disease but it does not worsen. Noel Clarke from the Christie NHS Foundation Trust said, “This therapeutic combination may be a promising new treatment approach for this aggressive disease.”
These results support the use of Lynparza for treating prostate cancer. Although it is not currently approved for this use by the FDA, the drug is approved for the treatment of some types of ovarian and breast cancer.