News Worms
News Worms

Faulty gene has no impact on breast cancer survival say scientists

Faulty gene has no impact on breast cancer survival say scientists

BRCA carriers with triple-negative breast cancer, however, may have a survival advantage over those without the mutation in the first few years after diagnosis, reported Diana M. Eccles, MD, of the University of Southampton School of Medicine, and colleagues in The Lancet Oncology.

The most recent indication approved for the drug is the third, making it the only PARP inhibitor regulated in metastatic breast cancer, and the only PARP inhibitor approved in more than one tumor type. "This approval demonstrates the current paradigm of developing drugs that target the underlying genetic causes of cancer, often across cancer types".

The safety and efficacy of Lynparza for the treatment of breast cancer was based on a randomized clinical trial of 302 patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer with a germline BRCA mutation. "While there is now no cure for metastatic breast cancer, today's approval offers a new, targeted option that may help to delay disease progression for these patients". "This new approval for Lynparza makes it the first and only PARP inhibitor approved in metastatic breast cancer, and the only PARP inhibitor approved outside of ovarian cancer", said Dave Fredrickson, executive vice president, head of the oncology business unit, AstraZaneca, in a statement.

The study involved 127 hospitals across the United Kingdom and included 2,733 women aged 18-40 years who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time. This was true at 2, 5 and 10 years following diagnosis.

Mutations in these genes stop DNA repairing itself and increase the risk of cancer developing.

Olaparib - which is also indicated for ovarian cancer - is the first poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor approved to treat breast cancer and is the first agent to be approved specifically for the treatment of breast cancer with BRCA mutations.

About 12 percent of the patients had a BRCA mutation, yet again confirming the association between this "faulty gene" and breast cancer.

Patients with hormone receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer should have been treated with a prior endocrine therapy or be considered inappropriate for endocrine therapy. In the trial, olaparib significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) compared with chemotherapy, and reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 42% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.80; P = 0.0009).

Lynparza does come with side effects, which can include anemia, low white blood cell counts, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, headache, joint pain, increased susceptibility to colds and other respiratory tract infections, and other effects.

The good news for young women who carry the infamous BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene is that their chances of survival after conventional breast cancer treatment are the same as those who don't have the mutation.

Find out more about BRCA1 and BRCA2 at the U.S.


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