Houston, TX

Houston Methodist experts discover new treatments for early-stage breast cancer

Jessica Yang

Angiola Harry/Unsplash

HOUSTON, TX — On June 4, Houston Methodist experts released the results on a new treatment with the potential to improve the outcomes for patients with hereditary BRCA mutations and high-risk, early-stage breast cancer.

These results represent the first time a drug blocks cancer cells from repairing their DNA (called a PARP inhibitor). It has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer returning in high-risk patients after completion of standard chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.

The paper, titled “Adjuvant Olaparib for Patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutated Breast Cancer”, was published in the June 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

On June 6, the paper will be presented as the first abstract during the plenary session at the 2021 American Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

The lead author and the OlympiA trial steering committee chair Andrew Tutt, M.D., Ph.D., of the Institute of Cancer Research and King’s College London, was principal investigator on the portion of study conducted on patients outside the U.S. The results will be presented at ASCO.

This study was led by top experts in BRCA-associated breast cancer from around the world — including the OlympiA trial’s co-chairs, Charles E. Geyer, Jr., M.D., a breast medical oncologist and deputy director of the Houston Methodist Cancer Center, Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Bella Kaufman, MD, of the Sheba Medical Center in Israel.

Geyer was the principal investigator on the NCI-sponsored portion of the study conducted in the U.S.

“OlympiA represents a successful global collaboration among leading international academic breast cancer research groups, cancer genetics experts, the National Cancer Institute and pharmaceutical industry partners to evaluate the efficacy and safety of olaparib to address the unmet need for improved therapy for individuals with high-risk, BRCA mutation-associated early breast cancer,” commented Geyer.

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