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PARP Inhibitor Slows Progression of Advanced Ovarian Cancer

TUESDAY, Oct. 8, 2019 -- The poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor veliparib plus platinum-based chemotherapy for induction therapy, followed by maintenance therapy with veliparib, improves progression-free survival (PFS) in the initial treatment of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress 2019, held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 in Barcelona, Spain.

In an international, phase 3, placebo-controlled trial, Robert L. Coleman, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues randomly assigned 1,140 patients with previously untreated stage III or IV high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (1:1:1) to receive chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel) plus placebo followed by placebo maintenance (control), chemotherapy plus veliparib followed by placebo maintenance (veliparib combination only), or chemotherapy plus veliparib followed by veliparib maintenance (veliparib throughout).

The researchers found that among women with a BRCA mutation, the median PFS was 34.7 months in the veliparib-throughout group and 22.0 months in the control group (hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.44). Among patients with homologous-recombination deficiency, the corresponding values for PFS were 31.9 and 20.5 months, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.57). In the intention-to-treat population, the corresponding values for PFS were 23.5 and 17.3 months, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.68). There were higher incidences of anemia and thrombocytopenia when veliparib was combined with chemotherapy.

"These results further validate the role of this class of drug in the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer and offer a new therapeutic asset that can be initiated with the start of their adjuvant chemotherapy treatment," Coleman said in a statement.

The study was funded by AbbVie, the manufacturer of veliparib.

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Posted: October 2019

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