Currently, ovarian cancer treatment consists of specialized surgery plus a treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy. This treatment is most effective when diagnosed at an early stage of the disease. However, between 70 and 80 percent of diagnoses in our country occur in advanced stages, which, in turn, causes that about 80 percent of patients suffer a relapse. For this type of patients, Zejula (niraparib), a new inhibitor of PARP1 and PARP2 polymerases (poly ADP-ribose polymerase), arrives in Spain for women with recurrent ovarian cancer sensitive to platinum.
Regarding the figures for this treatment, niraparib has demonstrated a significant clinical benefit by reducing the risk of progression or death by 73 percent in patients with relapsed ovarian cancer and mutation in the BRCA gene. It also provides a significant clinical benefit by reducing the risk of progression or death by 55 percent in patients without mutation in the BRCA gene.
In the words of Arturo López, medical director of GSK Spain, “despite an optimal initial treatment of ovarian cancer and the chemosensitivity of the disease, a large percentage of patients have relapses, so it is very satisfactory to be able to provide a innovative therapeutic solution like Zejula, which has demonstrated a broader spectrum of action than other treatments with PARP inhibitor, delaying the progression of the disease. ”
Meanwhile, Andrés Redondo, an oncologist at La Paz University Hospital and secretary of the Spanish Ovarian Cancer Research Group (GEICO), explained that “niraparib is a drug that will undoubtedly change the natural history of ovarian cancer, contributing in a very significant way to maintain the response we get with chemotherapy for longer. As we have observed in clinical trials, in some patients the benefit can be very long (more than 4 years), something we did not achieve with the currently available drugs. ”
Regarding the operation of this treatment, it must be explained that the PARP enzyme acts by repairing the breaks in the DNA strands of the cells, which helps keep them alive. In tumor cells, the inhibition of this enzyme contributes to the failure of these tears to be repaired, thereby preventing these tumor cells from reproducing or remaining alive.