The drug that will make chemotherapy obsolete

New anti-cancer targeted agent is expected to become an effective tool in the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer patients.

Artificial heart patients 311 (photo credit: Eli Dadon )
Artificial heart patients 311
(photo credit: Eli Dadon )
A new medicine in development is expected to make one of the most dreaded treatments in the fight against cancer - irrelevant. A new study conducted in both Europe and the US reports that a newly developed agent, Olaparib, will help attack breast and ovarian tumors effectively without subjecting patients to chemotherapy.


The researchers explain that Olaparib inhibits a certain protein that is involved in the reproduction of cancerous cells. The inhibition of this protein, in a tumorcell that already lacks a functional BRCA gene, will induce cell death.
The study was undertaken in 16 centers in Australia, Germany, Spain,Sweden, the UK and the US, and included women aged 18 years or more who suffered from recurrent,advanced breast cancer and had been given a few previous chemotherapyregimens.
The patients were assigned to one of two groups – 27 womenwere given 400 mg oral Olaparib twice daily and the other 27 women weregiven 100 mg oral Olaparib twice daily. The higher dose showed a betteranti-tumorous activity, with an objective response rate of 41%,compared with an objective response rate of 22% in the lower dosegroup. Adverse events were mainly at low grades, mostly in the higherdose group, and included fatigue, nausea, vomiting and anemia.

More clinical trials are necessary before Olaparib and other PARPinhibitors may be used in practice, but these recent studies give newhope for the future.
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