Blogger's Note: podcast and/or text available, registration required (free)
PARP Inhibitors and the Challenges of Developing Ovarian Cancer Therapeutics - Cancer Network
PARP Inhibitors and the Challenges of Developing Ovarian Cancer Therapeutics
Ovarian cancer is notoriously difficult to treat because it is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, and because of the high variance in the types of mutations that are found in individual tumors. This creates hurdles for the development of efficacious treatments.
CancerNetwork presents an interview with two prominent ovarian cancer researchers from both sides of the Atlantic. Dr. Jonathan Ledermann is professor of medical oncology at the UCL Cancer Institute in London, England. He treats gynecological cancers and is heavily involved in ovarian cancer clinical trials. Dr. Michael Birrer is a professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and is part of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center where he also treats gynecological cancers and leads an effort to molecularly characterize gynecological cancers.......
"CancerNetwork: Despite promising results at ASCO last year, with one of the PARP inhibitors, olaparib, showing positive progression-free survival (PFS) benefit, the phase II trial was stopped in mid December because this PFS benefit was not likely to translate to an overall survival benefit. I would like to get both of your perspectives on this and then what the future holds for other PARP inhibitors in development.
Dr. Ledermann: Mike Birrer will want to comment on this, but can I just correct you on a point of fact. The phase II trial was not stopped. In fact it is still going. There are still patients on treatment, and it has not been unblinded. What the company that manufactures olaparib, which is one of the PARP inhibitors, said in their press release was they were not going to continue development of olaparib in high-grade serous ovarian cancer because, as you said, the interim analysis of survival didn’t show the benefit they wanted to see in relation to the benefit in PFS that I reported at the ASCO conference. But the trial is still continuing and a final analysis will be done probably toward the end of this year."