Dr. Markman on the Benefit of PARP Inhibitors in Ovarian Cancer

November 6, 2020
Maurie Markman, MD

Maurie Markman, MD, discusses the utility of PARP inhibitors in ovarian cancer.

Maurie Markman, MD, physician and president of Medicine and Science at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and the editor-in-chief of our flagship publication, OncologyLive, discusses the utility of PARP inhibitors in ovarian cancer.

The field of ovarian cancer has continuously improved due to the number of clinical trials done and advancements made in the space, says Markman. Patients who have a documented BRCA mutation, either germline or somatic, and have achieved a partial or complete response to primary chemotherapy can receive benefit from PARP inhibitors, says Markman. The benefit of PARP inhibitors is impressive, according to Markman. Hazard ratios observed with these agents are around 0.30, which equates to a 70% reduction in the risk of progression, explains Markman.

That benefit has not been observed in solid tumor oncology for 30 to 50 years, and especially not in ovarian cancer, says Markman. That is a population-based outcome and results have showed that PARP inhibitors have led to a doubling or more in terms of time to progression compared with placebo, adds Markman. Some trials have follow-up between 3 to 6 years and the curves between placebo and PARP inhibitors remain very separated.

Patients with ovarian cancer and a BRCA mutation receive PARP inhibitors, unless there is a contrary indication, such as a patient without insurance, says Markman. Even then, there are programs have that have been developed to assist patients, concludes Markman.