Scientists have developed a new three-in-one blood test that has the potential to turn Lynparza (olaparib) into a precision medicine for prostate cancer.
Lynparza is a PARP inhibitor, a newer precision cancer medicine that blocks enzymes involved in repairing damaged DNA, thereby helping to kill cancer cells. Lynparza became the first PARP inhibitor medicine to become available in the U.S. when it was approved for ovarian cancer treatment at the end of 2014.
Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London have developed a new test that they claim can determine which men with advanced prostate cancer are likely to benefit from treatment with Lynparza, evaluate if the cancer is responding, and can detect if prostate cancer is evolving genetically and might be becoming drug-resistant.
They hope this will allow Lynparza to become a standard weapon for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer that would be targeted selectively at the men most likely to benefit.
The development of the new test, details of which were reported in the medical journal Cancer Discovery, marks a step forward for so-called liquid biopsies, which involve simple blood sampling as opposed to an invasive tissue biopsy.
The doctors believe their test could potentially be adapted to monitor treatment with PARP inhibitors for other cancers as well.
Reference: Goodall J, Mateo J, Yuan W, et al. Circulating Free DNA to Guide Prostate Cancer Treatment with PARP Inhibition. Cancer Discovery. 2017: 7(9); 1–12.
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