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How long does it take Lynparza to work?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on July 12, 2022.

Official answer


It takes Lynparza between two months and five months to start working depending on what cancer it is being used to treat.

It may take at least 3 months for Lynparza to start working when used to treat ovarian cancer. Trials reported a higher proportion of patients were event-free at 3 months with Lynparza compared to those taking placebo (an inactive treatment). This difference continued to the end of the trial with Lynparza lowering the risk of the disease progression or death by 70% when compared to a placebo (an inactive pill). Most women (61%, or 158 out of 260 women) did not see their cancer grow or return for a median of 3.4 years.

When used to treat metastatic breast cancer, differences between Lynparza and chemotherapy treatment were noted at 2 months. Lynparza delayed disease progression by 7 months compared to 4.2 months for patients who were given chemotherapy treatment. People treated with Lynparza were 42% less likely to have their cancer grow or spread than those on chemotherapy. In addition, 52% of people (87 of 167) saw their tumor shrink, compared to 23% (15 of 166) who received certain chemotherapy treatments.

Kaplan-Meier plots from the OlympiA RCT of 1836 patients with germline BRCA-mutated HER2-negative high risk early breast cancer showed a difference in invasive disease-free survival between patients prescribed Lynparza and those assigned to placebo within a few months that persisted for the length of the trial (60 months).

When used to treat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, differences were noted as early as two months into treatment for trial participants assigned Lynparza compared to those assigned enzalutamide or abiraterone acetate. In studies in men with BRCA1, BRCA2, or ATM gene mutations, Lynparza doubled the median time without cancer progression or death to 7.4 months, compared to 3.6 months with the hormone treatments enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone (Yonsa, Zytiga). Overall, 56 out of 162 men (35%) who took Lyparza did not have disease progression or death compared to 15 out of 83 men (18%) on enzalutamide or abiraterone.

When used to treat metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, Lynparza took a while longer to start working, with a difference from placebo not noted until 5 or 6 months into trials. In one study of 92 patients, Lynparza reduced the risk of the cancer growing or returning by 47% when compared to a placebo. In those who received Lynparza, cancer did not grow or return for 7.4 months, compared to 3.8 months for those who received a placebo.

  • Lynparza (Olaparib) Updated 03/2022. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP
  • Tutt ANJ, Garber J, Gelber RD, et al. Pre-specified event driven analysis of overall survival (OS) in the OlympiA phase III trial of adjuvant olaparib (ol) in germline BRCA1/2 mutation (gBRCAm) associated breast cancer. Presented at: March 2022 ESMO Virtual Plenary; March 16-18, 2022; virtual. Accessed March 16, 2022.
  • Lynparza (olaparib) Reduced Risk of Death by 32% in Patients With Germline BRCA-Mutated, HER2-Negative High-Risk Early Breast Cancer in Phase 3 OlympiA Trial. Merck. [news release]. March 16, 2022.

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