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Researcher Discusses Role for Maintenance Olaparib in Ovarian Cancer

Laura Panjwani
Published: Wednesday, Aug 03, 2016

Dr. Charlie Gourley

Charlie Gourley, PhD, MBChB

Olaparib (Lynparza)—which recently demonstrated an overall survival (OS) benefit as a maintenance therapy for relapsed patients with ovarian cancer—is an extremely exciting new agent, says Charlie Gourley, PhD, MBChB, chair and honorary consultant in Medical Oncology at Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre in the United Kingdom.

Olaparib is also being combined with other agents. People are also looking at the potential of using it without chemotherapy beforehand, and these studies are ongoing. There is nothing anywhere near license at this point, but combinations with anti-angiogenic agents, combinations with immunotherapies, and several other combinations are being investigated.

Is there any potential for the use of olaparib in an early setting?
We have seen what looks like an improvement in OS in this study, which was performed in the relapsed setting. The big question is, “When you move it into the first-line setting, and give it to patients who have just been diagnosed, can you improve their outcome?”
People don’t like to use the “cure” word, but we know that some patients are already cured with what we do. From what we’ve seen from Study 19, the big question in my mind is, “Can we cure more patients?” That is a massive question. There are trials addressing it that and I really look forward to seeing that data. 
1. Ledermann JA, Harter P, Gourley C, et al. Overall survival (OS) in patients (pts) with platinum-sensitive relapsed serous ovarian cancer (PSR SOC) receiving olaparib maintenance monotherapy: An interim analysis. J Clin Oncol 34, 2016 (suppl; abstr 5501).


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