Maintenance therapy is becoming more standard however and so, four years out, there is nothing in the article to suggest that women like me begin maintenance.
This article by Dr. Oliver Dorigo from Stanford University Medical Center, was found on Survivornet.com. Here's what Dr. Dorigo has to say about Nirapamib:
After undergoing surgery and getting chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, you may want to consider taking a relatively new kind of drug called a PARP inhibitor, which helps to kill off cancer cells. “PARPs” are somewhat recent entrants into ovarian cancer treatments and are getting lots of attention from oncologists.
What are PARPs For?
While PARP inhibitors were originally approved to treat cancer recurrence in BRCA mutated patients with at least 2 or 3 prior lines of chemotherapy, there is compelling new evidence that all ovarian cancer patients, regardless of BRCA mutation, may want to consider PARP inhibitors for maintenance if they’re responding well to chemotherapy (including a platinum drug such as Carboplatin).
We spoke to Dr. Oliver Dorigo, a Gynecologic Oncologist at Stanford Medical School, about some of the details:
Niraparib as late-stage therapy for women without BRCA mutations:
Niraparib, also known as Zejula, is one of the three major PARP inhibitors, and can be used in patients without BRCA mutations (about 80% of women). According to Dr. Dorigo, “We have trials that have shown that Niraparib in any patient with [ovarian cancer] can be beneficial in the maintenance setting…independent of a BRCA mutation.” Tumor cells with BRCA mutations have problems repairing DNA already, and the PARP inhibitors make these cells even less functional, causing cancer cells to die. Nonetheless, Niraparib has been shown to be effective in patients without this mutation. The other two PARP inhibitors, Olaparib and Rucaparib, are also approved to be used in this setting with the same indications.
The drug is currently approved for use as maintenance therapy for advanced/recurrentovarian cancer patients, regardless of whether they have BRCA mutation. These patients have undergone initial surgery and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, but their cancer continues to come back. In fact, in one trial known as the NOVA trial, patients without BRCA mutation who had already undergone several rounds of chemotherapy lived more than twice as long after taking Niraparib as those who did not. Niraparib, like other PARP inhibitors, is used to block the ability of tumor cells to repair DNA, thus eventually killing them.
Niraparib as an ‘up-front’ therapy for women without BRCA mutations:Niraparib is also being tested in a clinical trial for use after just the first line of chemotherapy. Doctors refer to PARP inhibitors used at this early stage in the treatment course as the drug being given ‘up-front.’ According to Dr. Dorigo, the trial, called the PRIMA trial, is looking at whether Niraparib can be used in ovarian cancer patients directly after the first round of chemotherapy following surgery, regardless of whether they have a BRCA mutation. Although the results have not been presented or published yet, Dorigo and other specialists believe that there is hope for the use of this drug in this setting.
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