“Lynparza, Best-in-Class as well as First-in-Class"
[Medical Team’s Medicine Story] ④ Astrazeneca Korea Medical Team, Joohwan Lee
[MedigateNews] The BRCA gene repairs damaged DNA, preventing normal cells from developing into tumors. BRCA mutations affect the development of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer. Angelina Jolie, who has a family history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, underwent a preventive operation in breast and ovary in 2013 and 2015 respectively, after discovering that the BRCA1 gene had a mutation in the BRCA test.
Linparza is the first PARP (Poly ADP Ribose Polymerase) inhibitor and the first drug to be approved as a targeted anticancer drug for the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer with BRCA mutation. In particular, it is getting attentions because it has proven the clinical value in the maintenance therapy for the ovarian cancer with high recurrence rate.
Meeting with Ju-hwan Lee, a member of the AstraZeneca’s Medical team as a radiation oncologist, we had the opportunity to find out about the clinical effectiveness of Linparza as the first PARP inhibitor and its value especially in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
At the time of initiating the SOLO-1 study, a phase 3 clinical trial for primary maintenance therapy in ovarian cancer patients, the standard of care for advanced ovarian cancer was platinum-based chemotherapy.
Dr. Lee said, “As there are almost no symptoms of consciousness from the patients due to the nature of ovarian cancer, they are often diagnosed at a relatively late stage. While ovarian cancer has a good response to the platinum-based chemotherapy, it recurs and the interval between relapses becomes shorter, and eventually further treatment becomes difficult.”
Dr. Lee said "Linparza has pioneered in a new field of maintenance therapy," and explained "The time from chemotherapy to disease progression or recurrence has been extended. As a result, ovarian cancer patients are able to not only extend the progression-free survival period, but also enjoy the improved quality of life."
Linparza demonstrated the effectiveness of maintenance therapy in the primary and secondary maintenance therapy phases for the patients with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer (SOLO-1, SOLO-2). In the clinical study of the primary maintenance therapy, the median for progression-free survival (PFS) was not derived up to 40.7 months, raising expectations for the long-term survival of the patients with ovarian cancer.
Dr. Lee said "Linparza is making great efforts to spread the effectiveness of treatment to more patients by obtaining various evidences from the clinical research. Especially, it is likely to have high possibility of being a treatment to cover a wide range of cancers that the treatment options were not available”
He added "The results of the Phase 3 study, which proved the effectiveness as the primary maintenance therapy for ovarian cancer regardless of BRCA mutation through the combination with bevacizumab such as the current PAOLA-1 study, were also published. The PARP inhibitors are used in the clinical studies for the combination therapy with various anticancer drugs such as immune cancer drugs. We think that we will be able to deliver better effects, and we are trying."