Dr. Muss on the Role of PARP Inhibitors in Breast Cancer

Hyman B. Muss, MD
Published: Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018



Hyman B. Muss, MD, professor of medicine, University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Breast Cancer Geriatric Oncology Program, director, geriatric oncology, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2017 Giant of Cancer Care in Supportive/Palliative/Geriatric Care, discusses the addition of PARP inhibitors to the treatment landscape of breast cancer.

PARP inhibitors are an addition to the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer and perhaps could move into the adjuvant setting, says Muss. Currently patients with metastatic disease need a BRCA mutation for it to be used as a single agent. Muss is unsure of how long this will prolong survival, but it is an oral medication with a toxicity profile that is less than chemotherapy, allowing for it an added benefit to the field.

The FDA approved the PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza) for the treatment of patients with germline BRCA-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer who have previously received chemotherapy. Additionally, hormone receptor-positive patients must have prior endocrine therapy to be considered appropriate for such treatment.

This approval is based on results from the phase III OlympiAD trial, which showed that olaparib reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 42% and improved progression-free survival by 2.8 months versus standard chemotherapy in previously treated patients with BRCA-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.


Hyman B. Muss, MD, professor of medicine, University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Breast Cancer Geriatric Oncology Program, director, geriatric oncology, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2017 Giant of Cancer Care in Supportive/Palliative/Geriatric Care, discusses the addition of PARP inhibitors to the treatment landscape of breast cancer.

PARP inhibitors are an addition to the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer and perhaps could move into the adjuvant setting, says Muss. Currently patients with metastatic disease need a BRCA mutation for it to be used as a single agent. Muss is unsure of how long this will prolong survival, but it is an oral medication with a toxicity profile that is less than chemotherapy, allowing for it an added benefit to the field.

The FDA approved the PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza) for the treatment of patients with germline BRCA-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer who have previously received chemotherapy. Additionally, hormone receptor-positive patients must have prior endocrine therapy to be considered appropriate for such treatment.

This approval is based on results from the phase III OlympiAD trial, which showed that olaparib reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 42% and improved progression-free survival by 2.8 months versus standard chemotherapy in previously treated patients with BRCA-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Cancer Summaries and Commentaries™: Update from Chicago: Advances in the Treatment of Breast CancerJul 31, 20181.0
Community Practice Connections™: Medical Crossfire®: Translating Lessons Learned with PARP Inhibition to the Treatment of Breast Cancer—Expert Exchanges on Novel Strategies to Personalize CareAug 29, 20181.5
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