Olaparib a widely recognized treatment for ovarian cancer and breast cancer, has demonstrated dramatic effectiveness in stopping pancreatic cancer, which is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the world.
For the first time in 40 years, there is a significant improvement in the arrest of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, the most deadly malignant disease. The drug tested in the study is olaparib, which reduced the progression of disease in patients with carriers to the common BRCA gene in the Jewish population.
The international research is headed by an Israeli researcher, Dr. Talia Golan, who serves as a research researcher at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital. “I always felt and hoped that these would be the results. This is a true and significant message for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, which we have been waiting for for many years. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most resistant and difficult to treat, and we can not describe the great excitement of bringing this wonderful news to patients, their families and the community of doctors and scientists,” the researchers said.
The drug, known as the treatment for ovarian cancer and breast cancer, has shown dramatic effectiveness in stopping the disease, which is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the world. Among patients treated with the drug, the disease stopped for about eight months on average. Thus, according to the results of the study, it reduced the chances of disease progression by 47%.
The progression of the disease was halted.
Results of the study showed that for patients treated with olaparib, progression of the disease was halted for 7.4 months compared with 3.8 months in the placebo group following chemotherapy. In fact, it reduced the chance of disease progression by 47%, which is an achievement not yet seen in metastatic patients of the violent cancer.
One in five of the patients who received olaparib in the study continued to live without disease progression for two years, meaning that some patients had a dramatic effect on the treatment.
The impressive results of the study were presented at the most important session of the ASCO Conference, the Congress of the American Cancer Association held in Chicago these days, and is considered the most important conference in the world in its field. Of the 5,600 studies presented at the conference, this study was chosen as one of the four most influential.
The study was conducted in 92 medical centers in 12 countries around the world, including nine medical centers in Israel. Due to the significant results of this study, it is expected that the treatment will be approved later this year by the health authorities around the world and will be accompanied by the recommendation to examine every patient with pancreatic cancer immediately with the initial diagnosis of the possibility of carrying BRCA so that it can be treated with innovative treatment.
In 2018, there were 460,000 patients with pancreatic cancer in the world and about 430,000 died of the disease that year, according to the World Health Organization. This is a very violent cancer which, in the absence of specific symptoms, is detected in 80% of cases at a late stage that does not allow surgery and recovery. Only 3% of the metastatic patients survive more than 5 years after diagnosis and the average survival is 3-5 months despite active treatment with chemotherapy.
Pancreatic cancer – 40 years without progress in treatment.
While in recent years there have been dramatic breakthroughs in the treatment of various diseases, pancreatic cancer remains without significant progress for 40 years.
In the Jewish population, there is a high rate of carrying to the BRCA compared to the Western world and the garden was even called the “Jewish Garden”. Pancreatic cancer also has a higher incidence of pancreatic cancer in Israel than in the world – twice as many pancreatic cancer patients with this mutation.
In light of the fact that this is the first drug developed in the world in accordance with the BRCA mutation, various studies have been conducted in recent years to examine its efficacy and safety in other cancers including pancreatic cancer. Lisa Cohen, director of the Bracha Association, which deals with hereditary cancer of the BRCA gene, said: “These are large lines for metastatic pancreatic cancer patients which are combined with the high efficacy of stop-disease therapy in patients with ovarian cancer and breast cancer patients, and highlight the need for each patient to undergo a BRCA test immediately after their initial diagnosis. ”
Olaparib is the first drug in the world to target the BRCA gene and is the first to prove significant efficacy in bronchial cancer with a BRCA mutation. The drug belongs to PARP inhibitors developed by understanding the DNA repair mechanism in the human body.