Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

For Reduced Recurrences

A new study suggests treatment with the PARP inhibitor olaparib may decrease recurrences among individuals with hereditary breast cancer, the Guardian reports.

The phase 3, double-blind, randomized study, dubbed the OlympiA trial, enrolled 1,836 patients with germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants and who had already undergone surgery and chemotherapy. Half received olaparib (AstraZeneca's Lynparza) and half placebo. As the team led by Institute of Cancer Research's Andrew Tutt reports in the New England Journal of Medicine, olaparib treatment was associated with significantly longer survival free of recurrent disease. Of the women given olaparib, 85.9 percent had no recurrent disease after three years of follow up, as compared to 77.1 percent of those given placebo.

"In curative therapy trial terms, this is a really major result," Tutt tells the Guardian. It notes the results were also presented online at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.

The Wall Street Journal adds that the findings "could expand the arsenal of weapons" to treat hereditary breast cancer and could "validate the pharmaceutical industry's investment" in PARP inhibitors.

It further reports that AstraZeneca plans to submit the data to regulators to seek approval for Lynparza to treat early-stage breast cancer.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.