Breast Cancer Drug Shows Promise to Change Prostate Cancer Treatment

British scientists have found an effective treatment for prostate cancer

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) announce final results from the Phase III PROfound trial that showed LYNPARZA (olaparib) demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival (OS) versus enzalutamide or abiraterone in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) with BRCA1/2 or ATM gene mutations. In addition, the median duration of treatment with Lynparza was 24.6 months versus 13.9 months with placebo.

Prostate cancer is the second-most common type of cancer in men worldwide, while ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in Europe.

AstraZeneca and MSD's iteration of the now highly advanced drug has been recommended for marketing authorisation in the European Union for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) with breast cancer susceptibility gene 1/2 (BRCA1/2) mutations, a subpopulation of homologous recombination fix (HRR) gene mutations. Approximately 50% of ovarian cancers are HRD-positive including BRCA1/2 mutation.Approximately 22% of ovarian cancers have a BRCA1/2 mutation.

José Baselga, AstraZeneca's executive VP for oncology R & D, said: "Patients diagnosed with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer unfortunately have few treatment options and historically a poor prognosis".

New treatments for advanced prostate cancer have been called a "breakthrough" by a leading cancer charity.

HRD, which defines a subgroup of ovarian cancer, encompasses a wide range of genetic abnormalities, including BRCA mutations and beyond. This recommendation for Lynparza brings us closer to making the only PARP inhibitor to improve overall survival in this setting available to men in the EU.

In the phase III trials, 11% of patients treated with Tagrisso had recurrence events or deaths compared to 46% on placebo. Inhibition of PARP with Lynparza leads to the trapping of PARP bound to DNA single-strand breaks, stalling of replication forks, their collapse and the generation of DNA double-strand breaks and cancer cell death. Since my diagnosis there have been some really rapid advances in treatment for ovarian cancer, and clinical trials like SOLO-1 are a crucial part of this. Lynparza is approved in the United States for HRR gene-mutated mCRPC (BRCAm and other HRR gene mutations). PARP inhibitors are a growing focus for drug research, with potential for use in breast, lung and prostate cancers.

The EMA recommendation follows positive regulatory updates for Lynparza, which AstraZeneca (L:) has developed with Merck & Co Inc (N:) as it faces competition from British rival GlaxoSmithKline (L:) on cancer drugs.



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