Ovarian cancer drug shows promise in pancreatic cancer patients with BRCA mutation
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PHILADELPHIA – A targeted therapy that has shown its power in fighting ovarian cancer in women including those with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations may also help patients with aggressive pancreatic cancer who harbor these mutations and have few or no other treatment options. An international team of researchers led by the Perelman School of Medicine and the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania reported their findings this week in JCO Precision Oncology.

The drug, PARP inhibitor rucaparib, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month for the treatment of women with ovarian cancer who have recurrent disease or received prior therapies, showed its clinical benefit in previously treated pancreatic patients with BRCA mutations in a phase II clinical trial. Of the 19 patients treated, four had responses and two additional patients had stable disease.

“These results not only point us in a new treatment direction to further investigate for patients with pancreatic cancers, but it also reinforces the clinical significance of the BRCA genes beyond ovarian and breast cancer and the utility of PARP inhibitors in other cancers,” said Susan M. Domchek, MD, executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA

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