Dr. Swisher on How the VELIA Trial Stands Out in Ovarian Cancer Research

April 2, 2020
Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD

Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD, discusses how the phase III VELIA/GOG-3005 trial compares with other trials examining up-front maintenance therapy in ovarian cancer.

Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD, a co-leader of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Program at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, director of Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UW Medicine, and affiliate investigator in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses how the phase III VELIA/GOG-3005 trial compares with other trials examining up-front maintenance therapy in ovarian cancer.

Updated results from the VELIA trial presented during the 2020 SGO Annual Meeting demonstrated an advantage to using veliparib (ABT-888) in combination with chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with BRCA wild-type, high-grade serous carcinoma, says Swisher. The veliparib combination resulted in extended progression-free survival in this patient population, and this benefit was seen irrespective of homologous recombination deficiency.

In the trial, patients were assigned to a control arm comprised of carboplatin plus paclitaxel with placebo followed by placebo as maintenance or veliparib plus chemotherapy followed by veliparib monotherapy as maintenance therapy.

The VELIA trial stands apart from other trials that are also examining up-front maintenance therapy because there was a phase of the trial where the PARP inhibitor was combined with chemotherapy, says Swisher. Additionally, the patient population included in the VELIA trial differed from other trials in that they were enrolled upon diagnosis without knowledge of whether they were sensitive to platinum-based chemotherapy, adds Swisher. Patients included in other trials were enrolled after they had responded to platinum.

The VELIA trial also included a small number of patients who had primary platinum-refractory disease, a population that would not be eligible for enrollment in other frontline maintenance trials, concludes Swisher.

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