Astra and Merck Win Speedy Review for Lynparza in Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“U.S. regulators have granted a priority review to AstraZeneca’s ovarian cancer drug Lynparza as a treatment for breast cancer, putting it on track for potential approval in the new disease area during the first quarter of 2018.

“The medicine, which is being jointly developed and marketed with Merck under a deal struck in July, is the first poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) drug to be considered for use outside ovarian cancer.”

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Novel Olaparib Combination Shows Activity in Ovarian, Breast Cancers

“A combination treatment composed of the PARP inhibitor olaparib and the investigational PI3K inhibitor BKM120 demonstrated activity and safety for women with triple-negative breast cancer or high-grade serous ovarian cancer, according to study findings presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting.

“High-grade serous ovarian cancer and triple-negative breast cancer are similar in that they often have germline BRCA mutations, have a sensitivity to platinum agents and have high copy number alterations based on The Cancer Genome Atlas, according to study background. Further, preclinical data have suggested olaparib (Lynparza, AstraZeneca) is synergistic with BKM120 (Novartis) and BYL719 (Novartis) in both cancers.

“Ursula A. Matulonis, MD, medical director of gynecologic oncology at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and associate professor of medicine at Harvard University Medical School, and colleagues evaluated olaparib plus BKM120 in 12 patients with triple-negative breast cancer and 34 patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer. Thirty-five patients had germline BRCA mutations.

“ ‘This is one area where we in ovarian cancer are in the forefront,’ Matulonis said during a press conference. ‘We are using an FDA-approved biomarker through germline BRCA status to basically say when a patient is eligible to receive olaparib.’ “


Olaparib Shows Success in Tumor Response Rate for Patients with BRCA-Related Cancers

The gist: A drug called olaparib has shown promise for treating people with breast, prostate, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. In a clinical trial with volunteer patients, olaparib was shown to shrink tumors or make them disappear in 26 percent of the patients. All patients involved had inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.

“Olaparib, an experimental twice-daily oral cancer drug, produces an overall tumor response rate of 26 percent in several advanced cancers associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, according to new research co-led by the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The positive response provides new hope for patients with ovarian, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers whose conditions have not responded to standard therapies. Results of the phase II study are available online in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“For the majority of patients in the study, olaparib was at least their third different cancer therapy. Based on the new data, the authors say olaparib warrants further investigation in phase III trials. The positive response in metastatic pancreatic cancer patients who had received an average of two prior rounds of chemotherapy is an especially noteworthy finding since therapeutic options for these patients are limited.

“The international research team studied nearly 300 patients with inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations who had advanced cancers that were still growing despite standard treatments. Patients were enrolled and treated at 13 centers around the world. In addition to the 26 overall shrinkage or disappearance rate in tumors following treatment with olaparib, researchers also found no further growth in cancer for at least eight weeks in 42 percent of patients.”


Unique Study Focuses on Combined Treatment Approach for Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

The gist: With the participation of volunteer patients, researchers are testing a potential new treatment approach for locally advanced pancreatic cancer, which is difficult to treat. The treatment combines radiation, chemotherapy, and a specific drug known as a PARP inhibitor, which keeps cancer cells from being able to undo the damage caused by radiation and chemotherapy. The treatment is being tested in a clinical trial. The researchers are also interested in investigating certain molecules, or “biomarkers,” found in patients’ tumors that could be used to predict how well the new treatment will work for different patients.

“Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute are developing a novel, multistep investigational treatment for one of the most complex and difficult-to-treat forms of the disease, locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

“Locally advanced pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of any solid tumor, with a cumulative five-year survival rate of only 4 percent for all stages of disease. Surgery is rarely an option for patients because tumors often involve vital blood vessels. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy given concurrently remain the mainstay treatment, yet to-date, no treatment has had a significant impact on improving outcomes.

” ‘To move the needle forward toward prolonged survival and better treatment outcomes, our research team created a combined investigational regimen for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer,’ said Richard Tuli, MD, PhD, a radiation oncologist in the Department of Radiation Oncology and a member of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. ‘Coupled with this research treatment, we are also looking to identify patient biomarkers, or molecular signatures, that may provide clues to how, and why, some patients respond better than others.’ “


BMN 673, a Novel and Highly Potent PARP1/2 Inhibitor for the Treatment of Human Cancers with DNA Repair Deficiency

“Purpose: PARP1/2 inhibitors are a class of anticancer agents that target tumor-specific defects in DNA repair. Here, we describe BMN 673, a novel, highly potent PARP1/2 inhibitor with favorable metabolic stability, oral bioavailability, and pharmacokinetic properties. Experimental Design: Potency and selectivity of BMN 673 was determined by biochemical assays. Anticancer activity either as a single-agent or in combination with other antitumor agents was evaluated both in vitro and in xenograft cancer models…Conclusion: BMN 673 is currently in early-phase clinical development and represents a promising PARP1/2 inhibitor with potentially advantageous features in its drug class.


PARP Inhibitor Shows Activity in Pancreatic, Prostate Cancers Among Patients Carrying BRCA Mutations

In the largest clinical trial to date to examine the efficacy of PARP inhibitor therapy in BRCA 1/2 carriers with diseases other than breast and ovarian cancer, the oral drug olaparib was found to be effective against advanced pancreatic and…


Human ALKBH7 is Required for Alkylation and Oxidation-Induced Programmed Necrosis

“Programmed necrosis has emerged as a crucial modulator of cell death in response to several forms of cellular stress. In one form of programmed necrotic cell death, induced by cytotoxic alkylating agents, hyperactivation of poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) leads to cellular NAD and ATP depletion, mitochondrial dysfunction, reactive oxygen species formation, and ensuing cell death. Here, we show that the protein encoded by the human AlkB homolog 7 (ALKBH7) gene plays a pivotal role in DNA-damaging agent-induced programmed necrosis by triggering tha collapse of…”


Human ALKBH7 is Required for Alkylation and Oxidation-Induced Programmed Necrosis

“Programmed necrosis has emerged as a crucial modulator of cell death in response to several forms of cellular stress. In one form of programmed necrotic cell death, induced by cytotoxic alkylating agents, hyperactivation of poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) leads to cellular NAD and ATP depletion, mitochondrial dysfunction, reactive oxygen species formation, and ensuing cell death. Here, we show that the protein encoded by the human AlkB homolog 7 (ALKBH7) gene plays a pivotal role in DNA-damaging agent-induced programmed necrosis by triggering tha collapse of…”


PARP Inhibition Sensitizes to Low Dose-Rate Radiation TMPRSS2-ERG Fusion Gene-Expressing and PTEN-Deficient Prostate Cancer Cells

Exposure to genotoxic agents, such as irradiation produces DNA damage, the toxicity of which is augmented when the DNA repair is impaired. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors were found to be “synthetic lethal” in cells deficient in BRCA1 and BRCA2 that impair homologous recombination. However, since many tumors, including prostate cancer (PCa) rarely have on such mutations, there is considerable interest in finding alternative determinants of PARP inhibitor sensitivity…”