In July 2021, we shared with you the first encouraging results from BIG’s OlympiA study. It assessed the efficacy and safety of the drug olaparib as a new personalised treatment for women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1/2 genes and develop a high-risk, HER2-negative, early breast cancer. Updated results are even more encouraging.
Further analysis were performed and presented to the scientific community earlier this month. The updated results confirmed the benefits already reported last year and showed that one year of post-surgery treatment with olaparib, compared to placebo, led to a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in the overall survival of patients, i.e., reducing risk of death by 32%.
In the USA, olaparib was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the adjuvant treatment of patients with BRCA-mutated HER2-negative high-risk early breast cancer who have already been treated with chemotherapy either before or after surgery. This will change the way US patients with this type of cancer are treated in the future, and we hope that regulatory authorities in other regions of the world will start similar drug approval processes soon.
An estimated 2.3 million people were diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide in 2020, and BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are found in approximately 5% of breast cancer patients.
OlympiA also highlights the importance of genetic testing so that patients bearing specific mutations can benefit from a more personalised treatment when possible.