Breast cancer gene not linked to higher risk of death

14 January, 2018, 12:46 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Credit Wikimedia Commons

"This class of drugs has been used to treat advanced, BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer and has now shown efficacy in treating certain types of BRCA-mutated breast cancer", said Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence.

Despite the findings, the study authors caution that in the longer term, risk-reducing surgery should be discussed as an option for BRCA1 mutation carriers in particular, to minimise their future risk of developing a new breast or ovarian cancer.

Women under the age of 40 with breast cancer have the same chances of survival whether or not they've been diagnosed with a BRCA gene mutation, new research suggests. "While there is now no cure for metastatic breast cancer, today's approval offers a new, targeted option that may help to delay disease progression for these patients".

Lynparza was first approved by the FDA in 2014 to treat certain patients with ovarian cancer and is now indicated for the treatment of patients with breast cancer. "For the portion of the 155,000 women in the USA living with metastatic breast cancer who have an inherited BRCA mutation, today's news is encouraging".

The survival rates for both BRCA carriers and non-carriers were similar: after 2 years, the survival rates were 97% for carriers and 96.6% for non-carriers.

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes play a critical role maintaining the genetic stability of cells, and produce proteins responsible for repairing damaged DNA. Doctors had found that the star had mutations in BRCA genes which increase a woman's risk of breast cancer by four-to-eightfold.

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What's more, carrying these mutations might, in fact, boost the odds of beating cancer if the diagnosis is triple-negative breast cancer.

FRIDAY, Jan. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Lynparza (olaparib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat metastatic breast cancer caused by a BRCA gene mutation. The trial measured the length of time the tumors did not have significant growth after treatment (progression-free survival). When evaluated against standard of care chemotherapy, the drug exhibited the ability to reduce the risk of disease progression or death by 42%.

The most frequently reported adverse events for olaparib included anemia, neutropenia, leukopenia, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomatitis, dysgeusia, respiratory tract infections, nasopharyngitis, and arthralgia/myalgia.

Dr. Susan M. Domchek, Executive Director of the Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and a national leader on the OlympiAD trials, said: "Patients diagnosed with BRCA-related metastatic breast cancer are often younger than other breast cancer patients, and their disease is often much more aggressive and hard to treat".

Its U.S. marketing application for same indication as ZEJULA is now under FDA review with an action date of April 6.

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