Updates From a PARP Inhibitor Clinical Trial for Patients with Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

A subset of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer and an inherited BRCA mutation rapidly progressed during a clinical trial of Lynparza.

In the phase 3 POLO trial looking at Lynparza (olaparib), a PARP inhibitor, as maintenance therapy for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer and an inherited BRCA mutation, researchers weren’t able to identify the clinical characteristics of patients whose cancer rapidly progressed, according to Dr. Teresa Macarulla.

At the start of the trial, there were already patients with more advanced cancer compared with other patients, and through the course of the study the patients with advanced disease didn’t benefit as well as the rest of the trial participants.

During the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers symposium, Macarulla, a gastrointestinal oncologist at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain, presented updated study findings and also spoke with CURE® about patient outcomes.


There's a percentage of patients that are included in the POLO trial that progress rapidly. We define this population as those patients that progress within the first four months of the randomization after the organization, so in the second CT scan.

Unfortunately, we see that the numbers are not so high, because the number of the total population of the trial is not so high, and it’s difficult to define the clinical characteristics of the patients in this group. It is true that those patients at the beginning presented worse general status or worse performing status. In that, are those patients that it seems that are more likely to be rapid progressors, but we cannot identify more than this.