Novel Combination Treatment May Help Some Patients With Ovarian and Triple-negative Breast Cancers

Dr. Victoria L. Chiou, MD Medical Oncology Fellow Women’s Malignancies Branch National Cancer InstituteMedicalResearch.com interview with
Dr. Victoria L. Chiou, MD

Medical Oncology Fellow
Women’s Malignancies Branch
National Cancer Institute

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Chiou: We studied the effects of different treatments in ovarian and breast cancer cell lines with and without BRCA1 mutation in the laboratory. Our discovery that olaparib pretreatment before carboplatin led to decreased carboplatin-induced DNA damage in tumor cells carrying BRCA1 mutation led us to a novel clinical question. We wanted to further understand whether there was an optimal way to deliver a combination of the new tablet formulation of olaparib with carboplatin chemotherapy in women with gynecologic and breast cancers.

We launched our clinical trial to test this important question. Overall, we are pleased that the drug combination of olaparib and carboplatin chemotherapy can be given safely together, with preliminary activity in women with breast and ovarian cancer associated with germline BRCA mutations. We are excited to report the findings of this study, which is the first to report preclinical and clinical data on sequence specificity for this drug combination in this patient population.

MedicalResearch: In your opinion, what was the key, or most important, finding?

Dr. Chiou:

  • We identified a safe drug treatment schedule for the new olaparib tablet formulation in combination with carboplatin chemotherapy. We showed preliminarily that it also had activity, known as tumor shrinkage, in women with triple negative breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The different sequence of the drugs did not significantly impact the side effects that patients felt.
  • We found evidence that olaparib tablet formulation given for 7 days, in combination with carboplatin given on one day, every 21 days, demonstrated preliminary clinical activity in heavily pretreated patients with breast and ovarian cancer. Women carrying a germline BRCA mutation had a 66% overall response rate; many patients achieved tumor shrinkage of more than 30%, and one patient had complete disappearance of all of the tumor.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Chiou: We are continuing correlative science work, performing additional studies to see whether there are differences in the genes of patients who responded to the therapy, and learning more about the new olaparib tablet formulation. Our goal is to identify biomarkers that predict susceptibility to this treatment combination. Interested patients may contact 1-888-624-1937 for more information about our clinical trials.

Citation:

Abstract presented at the 2014 AACR meeting in Philadelphia
Olaparib Carboplatin Combination Showed Early Signs of Clinical Activity Against Ovarian and Triple-negative Breast Cancers

MedicalResearch.com interview with Dr. Victoria L. Chiou, MD (2015). Novel Combination Treatment May Help Some Patients With Ovarian and Triple-negative Breast Cancers