The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States of America has approved the use of Lynparza (olaparib) in the treatment of breast cancer.
According to a report by Breast Cancer News, the drug will be used in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, which is cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body.
Lynparza is said to increase the time patients live without their cancer progressing like it would in chemotherapy.
The drug inhibits poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) enzyme, which is responsible for DNA repairs in people with inherited BRCA gene mutation, a human tumor suppressor gene, and preventing it eliminates the survival of tumours.
Patient eligibility for the treatment will be evaluated using a companion diagnostic — a test that is specific for a treatment — developed by Myriad Genetics.
A total of 205 patients participated in the trial. The results showed that the therapy reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 42 percent compared to chemotherapy.
Lynparza also triggered a response in more patients than chemo as 52 percent responded to the treatment, compared to only 23 percent in the chemotherapy group.
Among those who responded, 7.8 percent had a complete eradication of their cancer. However, such a complete remission was seen in only 1.5 percent of patients treated with chemotherapy.
Researchers published their phase 3 trial findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.