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Significant step forward in ovarian cancer treatment

Almost half of patients who received a targeted drug during treatment for newly diagnosed BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian cancer remain disease free after five years.

18 September 2020

Image: Dr Susana Banerjee, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden and one of the investigators of the trial.

Patients treated with olaparib, a PARP inhibitor drug that targets inherited genetic faults in tumours, continued to benefit substantially beyond the end of treatment.

The SOLO-1 Phase III trial data, the first to report long term follow up for patients with newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer, was presented by Dr Susana Banerjee at the European Society for Medical Oncology Virtual Congress (ESMO) on Friday 18 September 2020.

The randomised trial tested if patients benefited from taking olaparib for two years of maintenance treatment following standard treatment in comparison to patients who were given placebo. After five years, 48.3% of patients treated with olaparib had not progressed and were still living with stable disease in comparison to 20.5% on placebo.

The results showed that the women treated with olaparib for two years following standard treatment had 56 months where the cancer didn’t progress, compared with 13.8 for those who had standard treatment only.

Dr Susana Banerjee, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden and Reader at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, one of the investigators of the trial, said: “These results represent a significant step forward in the treatment of newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer and give us real hope for more long term survivors. Previous research in PARP inhibitors in ovarian cancer has only been in patients with relapsed disease so SOLO-1 has given us the evidence to show that as a first line therapy it can have substantial benefit for patients earlier in the cancer pathway.”

These results represent a significant step forward in the treatment of newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer and give us real hope for more long term survivors.

Dr Susana Banerjee, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden

Preeti Dudakia, 53 (pictured above), was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer six years ago. She had a full abdominal hysterectomy, followed by six cycles of chemotherapy. She said: “My mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 60 and because of my family history, the team at The Royal Marsden recommended I try the SOLO-1 trial. I had monthly treatment for two years and now I’m in remission. Since my diagnosis there have been some really rapid advances in treatment for ovarian cancer, and clinical trials like SOLO-1 are a crucial part of this. The trial gave me a sense of purpose and I know the findings will benefit patients for years to come.”

The SOLO-1 trial was funded by AstraZeneca and MSD.

 

Supported by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity 

Ovarian cancer research at The Royal Marsden is funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, The Lady Garden Foundation and National Institute for Health Research.