Ovarian cancer has proven to be a formidable foe. This form of cancer remains difficult to detect, particularly in the early stages, which means that women are generally diagnosed at later (and harder to treat) stages. In fact, more than four out of five women are not diagnosed until this cancer has advanced. For this reason, more effective treatments for later stage ovarian cancer remains an important field of cancer research.
Worldwide, ovarian cancer is the seventh most common form of cancer and the eighth deadliest in women. The risk is higher for this type of cancer in women with certain genetic abnormalities, such as the BRCA mutation.
The medication Lynparza (olaparib) from AstraZeneca gained FDA approval in 2014 for women with advanced ovarian cancer caused by a mutated BRCA gene. Now, Lynparza is being tested as a maintenance treatment. A phase 3 study based on Lynparza as maintenance treatment for women with platinum-sensitive, relapsed, BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer reports promising results, with survival being longer in the treated group compared to women on placebo.
This progression-free survival time adds credence to the FDA’s decision to put Lynparza on a fast-track to approval as a monotherapy for maintenance treatment. This latest study showed even more promising results than prior research with this medication, which offers more hope to women facing one of the deadliest cancers.
Lynparza Phase III SOLO-2 trial shows significant progression-free survival benefit. Press release October 26, 2016.