Olaparib is in clinical development as a monotherapy for the treatment of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer with breast cancer mutated (BRCAm) gene or ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM). Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men in the UK. The cancer is called advanced (metastatic) prostate cancer when the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body like bones, lymph nodes outside the pelvis or to the liver or lungs. It is not possible to cure metastatic prostate cancer but is possible to keep it under control. Over time, many prostate cancers continue to grow despite hormonal therapies (and are called “castration-resistant” prostate cancer).
Olaparib is taken orally and works by blocking a protein called poly [adenosine diphosphate-ribose] polymerase (PARP). PARP is an important protein which tries to fix damaged deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). By blocking PARP from fixing damaged DNA, the tumour cells may die. If licensed, olaparib will offer an additional treatment option for men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer with BRCAm or ATM mutations who have progressed following a prior new hormonal agent.
Nivolumab works by improving the activity of white blood cells thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Cabozantinib works to stop signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow. It is thought that when used in combination, both drugs may be more effective than each drug on its own. If licenced, nivolumab in combination with cabozantinib may improve long-term outcomes in mRCC patients who currently have limited treatment options.