‘Targeted’ ovarian cancer drug could also help certain men with prostate cancer

Olaparib was licensed in December for women with ovarian cancer and inherited BRCA mutations, but the new research suggests it could also benefit men with genomic faults within their tumours.

Researchers told the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) conference in Philadelphia that up to 30 per cent of men with advanced prostate cancer had tumours with defects in repairing DNA — and these responded particularly well to olaparib. The men most likely to benefit could be identified by genetic testing to look for mutations in genes responsible for DNA repair — including the BRCA genes and the gene ATM.

Link to the research: Mateo et al, DNA repair defects and antitumor activity with PARP inhibition: TOPARP, a phase II trial of olaparib in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer, AACR conference 2015

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