Breast Cancer : a new treatment in the inherited form

Health 14 January, 2018

gbh007 / Epictura

Published the 14.01.2018 to 12h21


Keywords :

cancer seintraitementthérapie cibléeEtats-UniscancerAnti-PARP

Finally something new in the breast cancer. The olaparib, a new drug by the oral route, has recently been licensed in the United States in an inherited form of breast cancer, due to the presence of a mutation type BRCA. These genetic abnormalities, present in 10% to 15% of breast cancers, have been popularized by the actress Angelina Jolie and her decision to proceed with a double mastectomy as a preventive.

Expected for the summer of 2017, this authority is of the olaparib the first targeted treatment in this inherited form of breast cancer. Already used in cancer of the ovary, since 2014 (under the name Lynparza), this groundbreaking treatment takes place in second line in advanced breast cancer, after failure of a first course of chemotherapy. It works by targeting the system of DNA repair.

Prevent cancer cells to repair themselves

Every cell of the body has a mechanism of DNA repair. A mutation in the gene BRCA1 or BRCA2, inherited, prevents some of these repairs. A grain of sand in the machine, which increases the risk for each cell to accumulate genetic abnormalities and become cancerous. Women who carry a mutation in BRCA have a major risk of developing breast cancer : approximately 70 % on a life.

Paradoxically, olaparib (a drug said ” inhibitor of PARP “, only one on the market to this day) has also the effect of increasing the genetic instability by inhibiting the major route of DNA repair. Normal cells have a way of relief. But the cancer cells affected by a mutation BRCA do not have this remedy available because of the lack of power to repair their damaged DNA, eventually they accumulate failures genetic fatal.

A hope for all cancers “triple-negative”

The pivotal study, which demonstrated the effectiveness of the molecule, shows modest efficacy : on average, the olaparib can delay for three months the progression of the disease. But it is better tolerated than chemotherapy, where a gain in quality of life for patients, and proves to be more effective in breast cancers called ” triple-negative “, obstinate to other targeted treatments.

For the time being, the molecule is not allowed in Europe. But the registration us ahead of usually little to those of the european medicines Agency. The extension of authorisation of the placing on the market, which will allow the use of the olaparib in France in the cancer of the breast, should, therefore, rapidly cross the Atlantic.