9 June 2020

Milestone in precision medicine for prostate cancer

Game-changing cancer drug one step closer to reaching prostate cancer patients
Prostate Cancer | Where The Money Goes

The world’s first precision medicine for prostate cancer has become one step closer to reaching patients after receiving US government approval.  

Olaparib, which has been proven to extend survival for some men with advanced prostate cancer, was given FDA (Food and Drug Administration) backing last month.
The breakthrough is the culmination of a decade of research involving collaboration between scientific teams around the world and supported by funding from Movember.

It is now hoped that other countries will follow suit, making the drug available to thousands of patients around the world.

Dr Mark Buzza, Global Director, Prostate Cancer Biomedical Research at Movember said: "We hope this drug will improve the lives of men with prostate cancer in the very near future."

The pill, which is already used on patients with breast and ovarian cancer, is a type of treatment called a PARP inhibitor.

It works by specifically targeting cancer cells with faulty DNA repair genes. It stops the cells repairing and eventually kills them without damaging healthy cells.

It is the first genetically targeted drug of its kind and it is hoped that it will benefit up to a third of men with aggressive prostate cancer.

Dr Buzza says: "It is essentially the first 'precision medicine' approach for prostate cancer where a man is treated based on his genetic profile.

"This revolutionary approach to treating prostate cancer means that fewer men will needlessly suffer the side effects of treatments that are unlikely to work for their particular disease."

Movember's contribution to the development of olaparib as a medicine for prostate cancer, came through a Prostate Cancer Foundation-Movember Challenge Award.