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Expert Discusses PARP Inhibitor Success in Ovarian Cancer

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Monday, May 15, 2017

Dennis Scribner, MD

Dennis Scribner, MD

PARP inhibitors, including olaparib (Lynparza), rucaparib (Rubraca), and niraparib (Zejula), are revolutionizing the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer, explains Dennis Scribner, MD.

State of the Science Summit on Ovarian Cancer, Scribner, a gynecologic oncologist at Arizona Oncology, discussed the treatment landscape for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer and how PARP inhibitors have enhanced the treatment options for this population.

OncLive: What did you discuss in your presentation?

Scribner: My talk was designed as a backbone to give the audience a general overview of how we treat ovarian cancer in the recurrent setting. Certainly, with a gynecologic oncology patient population—since there are so many treatment options for these patients in the setting of either platinum-sensitive or platinum-resistant disease—it’s [our responsibility] as clinicians to talk to patients. We have to understand what their disease burden is and the science behind what is the best treatment for them. However, when the treatments are kind of close to equal, many treatments have many different adverse effects (AEs). Therefore [in these instances, we are also] really looking at patients’ quality of life and understanding that in a recurrent setting, these patients are not going to be cured.

We are looking ahead and understanding the PARP inhibitor concept, and this is a whole different category for us. There are people who are now living their lives and responding sometimes even better than [patients on] chemotherapy with oral agents. This is very exciting. 

Will these PARP inhibitors potentially replace chemotherapy in the future?

Well, that’s a very interesting thing. I don’t think it will from a standpoint of primary therapy. When you look at drugs that we have, with the taxanes, platinum-based agents, and addition of bevacizumab (Avastin), we have a lot of patients who get into a progression-free interval in which they are in remission.
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