PARP Drugs Can Control metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Release Date: 30-Sep-2019

The recent research led by Maha Hussain, MD, of Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University in Chicago confirmed that the data from the phase 3 PROfound trial shows olaparib action in slowing the cancer progression by about 4 months. Olaparib is an inhibitor of poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP), and the study also involves the comparision with enzalutamide or abiraterone.


Further, the study also involves the action of olaparib on the pin progression and objective response rate. The researchers observed that olaparib-treated patient experienced decreased time to pain progression and a higher objective response rate (ORR) compared with enzalutamide or abiraterone recipients.


The study concluded that in men who have metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) may benefit more from olaparib, than from newer antiandrogen medications. There are some altered DNA repair genes present in mCRPC patients and PARP inhibitors act on them to inhibit their activity.  The results of the study were presented in European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019 Congress in Barcelona, Spain.


Open label tial of PARP inhibitor included 387 mCRPC patients with progressed cancer progressed while on prior treatment with the novel antiandrogens or chemotherapy.  Two cohort groups are formed by the investigator i.e. A and B based on their alterations in DNA repair genes. Investigators randomly assigned patients in both cohorts to receive olaparib or a physician’s choice of either enzalutamide or abiraterone. The primary end point was radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) in Cohort A. the trial indicates that in the overall study population of both cohorts, olaparib recipients experienced significantly improved radiographic progression free survival (rPFS) as compared with the antiandrogen-treated patients.


According to Maha Hussain, to see such a significant effect on disease progression and other clinically relevant effects such as pain progression and object response rate is a remarkable achievement in such heavily pre-treated patients with prostate cancer. He also added that adverse events (AEs), including anemia, nausea, decreased appetite, and fatigue, occurred more frequently with olaparib than with the antiandrogens.

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