FDA approves olaparib for patients with BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer

In December 2019, the FDA approved olaparib as a treatment with germline BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer after successful treatment with chemotherapy.  BRCA mutations are associated with higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, as well as prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.  Olaparib has already been approved in breast and ovarian cancer.  In the POLO trial, after patients received initial chemotherapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer, and responded well to that, there was shown to be an improvement in progression-free survival to take olaparib as opposed to placebo.  The overall effect is small, but in a cancer that is very difficult to treat, this is a promising option for those that have the BRCA mutation.

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