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Innovation Observatory > Reports > Drugs > Olaparib in addition to abiraterone for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer – First line

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Olaparib in addition to abiraterone for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer – First line

Drugs

Cancer and Palliative Care

November 2020


Olaparib in combination with abiraterone acetate is in clinical development for patients with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). 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 rarely to the liver or lungs. It is not possible to cure metastatic prostate cancer but is possible to keep it under control. Prostate cancers that continue to grow despite hormonal therapies are called “castration-resistant” prostate cancer.
Olaparib is administered orally in tablet form and can lead to cancer cell death by blocking DNA repair by an enzyme (protein) called PARP. By blocking PARP enzymes, the damaged DNA in cancer cells cannot be repaired, and the cells die. Abiraterone works by stopping the body making testosterone which subsequently stops the cancer growing. If licensed, this combination would provide a first-line treatment for men with mCRPC.

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