Dr. Sessa on the Management of BRCA1/2 Mutations in Ovarian Cancer

Cristiana Sessa, MD
Published: Thursday, Jan 11, 2018



Cristiana Sessa, MD, head of Phase I-II Unit and Pharmacology, vice head of Medical Oncology and Head of Clinical Research, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, discusses the management of BRCA1/2 mutations in patients with ovarian cancer.

BRCA1/2 mutations are present in 20% of high-grade serous ovarian cancer, explains Sessa. Activity of PARP inhibitors is very high in patients with BRCA1/2 mutations.

According to Sessa, the homologous recombination system is important and the dysfunction of this system is present in 50% of patients with ovarian cancer. That allowed the activity of PARP inhibitors and potential combinations to broaden.

Currently, 3 PARP inhibitors have been approved by the FDA for patients with ovarian cancer. Rucaparib, (Rubraca), olaparib (Lynparza), and niraparib (Zejula) have led to practice-changing, targeted treatment options for patients whose disease has progressed on chemotherapy. Combination trials are underway to achieve better results with these PARP inhibitors.


Cristiana Sessa, MD, head of Phase I-II Unit and Pharmacology, vice head of Medical Oncology and Head of Clinical Research, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, discusses the management of BRCA1/2 mutations in patients with ovarian cancer.

BRCA1/2 mutations are present in 20% of high-grade serous ovarian cancer, explains Sessa. Activity of PARP inhibitors is very high in patients with BRCA1/2 mutations.

According to Sessa, the homologous recombination system is important and the dysfunction of this system is present in 50% of patients with ovarian cancer. That allowed the activity of PARP inhibitors and potential combinations to broaden.

Currently, 3 PARP inhibitors have been approved by the FDA for patients with ovarian cancer. Rucaparib, (Rubraca), olaparib (Lynparza), and niraparib (Zejula) have led to practice-changing, targeted treatment options for patients whose disease has progressed on chemotherapy. Combination trials are underway to achieve better results with these PARP inhibitors.

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