Expert Point of View: Allison Kurian, MD, MSc


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Allison Kurian, MD, MSc

Allison Kurian, MD, MSc

Formal discussant of this paper, Allison Kurian, MD, MSc, of Stanford University School of Medicine, said: “I think these results are practice-changing. Toxicity and quality of life were better with olaparib [Lynparza].”

Dr. Kurian noted that the study did not report correlative biomarkers for survival or quality of life. “We need further study to determine which patients really benefit from this therapy,” she said.

Other remaining questions include mature survival data and how olaparib compares with other poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in BRCA-associated breast cancer.

The next steps for PARP inhibitors in breast cancer are to define the optimal population in clinical trials and to assess the use of a single-agent PARP inhibitor vs combinations with chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy, said Dr. Kurian. She urged the audience to follow recommendations for genetic testing and appropriate interventions. 

“Cancer genetics should inform treatment decision-making,” she emphasized. “Many patients do not receive guideline-concordant genetic testing and do not receive guideline-concordant interventions.” ■

DISCLOSURE: Dr. Kurian’s institute has received research funding from Myriad Genetics, Ambry Genetics, GeneDx, Invitae, and Genomic Health.


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Olaparib Improves Progression-Free Survival in BRCA-Associated Breast Cancer

The PARP INHIBITOR olaparib (Lynparza) improved progression-free survival in women with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer that was either hormone receptor–positive or triple-negative in patients who had a germline BRCA mutation.1,2 These results of the international, randomized, open-label,...


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