ASCO Annual Meeting

ASCO Annual Meeting

June 09, 2016
1 min read

Rucaparib shows efficacy in BRCA-associated pancreatic cancer

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CHICAGO — Rucaparib showed clinical efficacy in a small cohort of patients with pancreatic cancer and BRCA mutations, according to a poster presented at ASCO 2016.

“These results are encouraging and further demonstrate the clinical significance of the BRCA cancer genes outside of breast and ovarian, and not just in women,” Susan M. Domchek, MD, executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, said in a press release.

Initial success of rucaparib in BRCA-associated ovarian cancer encouraged Domchek and colleagues to pursue the phase 2 clinical trial in mutation carriers with pancreatic cancer. Enrollment of patients with relapsed pancreatic cancer who had undergone one to three rounds of prior chemotherapy for advanced or metastatic disease brought 11 men and eight women. BRCA1 mutation was present in 21%, BRCA2 in 79%.

Six of the 19 patients (32%) showed partial response or stable disease for more than 12 weeks with one having complete response. In those who received only one round of prior chemotherapy, 50% showed the same response. One patient is still receiving the drug, according to the press release.

“Less heavily pretreated patients derived durable benefit, suggesting that rucaparib may be an option earlier in the treatment course,” according to the abstract.

Rucaparib received FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation for ovarian cancer treatment in April 2015.

This study “points us to a potential new treatment avenue for pancreatic cancer, an aggressive disease that's often caught in the later stages. Though smaller in number, some patients with advanced disease and carrying a BRCA mutation may benefit from the same targeted therapy being used today in the clinic to successfully treat some ovarian cancer patients,” Domchek said. – by Katrina Altersitz


Domchek SM, et al. Abstract 4110. Presented at: ASCO Annual Meeting; June 3-6, 2016; Chicago.

Disclosure: Domchek reports receiving honoraria from EMD Serono and research funding from AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Clovis Oncology and Pharmamar.