APR 27, 2020 9:08 AM PDT

Talazoparib offers improved quality of life for breast cancer patients

Findings from the Phase III EMBRACA trial have been reported at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting. They suggest that while the PARP inhibitor drug talazoparib does not improve overall survival for patients with metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer and mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes, it does improve quality of life. The results previously of this trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Photo: Pixabay

Led by Jennifer Litton, M.D., professor of Breast Medical Oncology and other researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the EMBRACA trial has made researchers reevaluate the treatment benefit of talazoparib. While previous studies have focused on analyses of talazoparib from a perspective of overall survival, this trial highlighted a quality-of-life benefit that the drug could offer. 

 According to the researchers’ findings, patients receiving talazoparib treatment had prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) when compared with chemotherapy, with a median PFS of 8.6 months versus 5.6 months, respectively.

"Overall survival is always an important endpoint, but also a challenge for metastatic breast cancer patients as there are many treatment options available," said Litton. "Many of these patients also received subsequent therapies, including PARP inhibitors and platinum-based therapies, which could have potentially influenced these results."

Talazoparib is a PARP inhibitor that works by inhibiting the PARP enzyme and trapping the enzyme on DNA to prevent DNA repair. Watch the video below to learn more about the mechanisms of PARP inhibitors. 

According to reports from patients participating in the trial, those receiving talazoparib treatment experienced prolonged time to deterioration of overall health, 26.3 months compared to 6.7 months with chemotherapy, respectively.

"Talazoparib remains an option for patients with advanced breast cancer and a germline BRCA mutation due to its improvements in progression free survival," said Litton "Other advantages include it being an oral once-daily option, as well as the demonstrated improvements in quality of life for metastatic breast cancer patients."

Sources: New England Journal of Medicine, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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