Dr. Konner Discusses PARP Inhibitors in Ovarian Cancer

Jason A. Konner, MD

Jason A. Konner, MD, Gynecologic Medical Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the uncertain path of PARP inhibitors for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

In a study evaluating maintenance therapy with olaparib in platinum-sensitive, relapsed, high-grade serous ovarian cancer, median progression-free survival (PFS) improved to 8.4 months from 4.8 months. In December 2011, AstraZeneca announced that it would not be moving forward into phase III trials because interim analysis of the phase II data suggested that PFS benefit would not translate into an overall survival benefit. Konner also notes that AstraZeneca changed the drug from a capsule to a tablet and that it may need to start over completely.

Veliparib is currently involved in multiple studies, mostly in feasibility combinations with cytotoxic chemotherapy. Though veliparib's singe agent efficacy is still unknown, the oncology community awaits data from a Gynecologic Oncology Group phase II study.

Konner concludes by mentioning that several other PARP inhibitors have failed and been discontinued, casting further doubt on the future of PARP inhibitors.

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