Expert Point of View: William Nelson, MD

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William Nelson, MD

Olaparib hits the target. The question is how best to use it.

—William Nelson, MD

The PARP enzyme functions in aiding cells as they repair DNA. Olaparib hits the target. The question is how best to use it,” said William Nelson, MD, Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Dr. Nelson moderated a press conference where these data were discussed.

“This drug works on the concept of synthetic lethality, targeting lost genes by finding the synthetic lethal pair and targeting those functions. This is different from targeting oncogene addiction, for example, the androgen receptor,” Dr. Nelson explained.

“The study suggests that olaparib will be active in men who have been treated with hormones, abiraterone [Zytiga], and enzalutamide [Xtandi] and are progressing. The findings raise the possibility that using a genome test to identify likely responders will achieve a higher response rate, which is being studied in TOPARP-B,” Dr. Nelson continued.

“Prostate cancer has been treated with hormones for many years. With enzalutamide and abiraterone, we are still getting more mileage out of attacking the androgen receptor. With this study, we are looking at different targets off of the androgen receptor,” he said. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Nelson reported no potential conflicts of interest.


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