The President of the American Society for Clinical Oncology shared that new research has found that the Lynparza parp inhibitor could have a significant impact on the treatment and decision paths of patients with both high-risk and early-stage breast cancer. The study also showed that Lynparza reduces the chances that patients with the BRCA gene mutation will relapse.
In December 2020, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported that breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer, even surpassing lung cancer. The new study provides evidence that Lynparza can help treat those who are at high risk as well as those with early-stage and recurring breast cancer. This is an important stepping stone and tool to be able to cure breast and ovarian cancer.
What Is the BCRA Gene Mutation?
BCRA1 and BCRA2 are simply genes that produce proteins to help repair damaged DNA. Everyone has them, with one copy from each parent. However, if the BCRA1 and BRCA2 genes mutate, they can become harmful and create a much higher risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer. This risk increases to over 80% of those who inherit either of these mutated genes, with the risk also becoming higher at a younger age.
While blood tests conducted to detect these mutated genes are not routine, they are potentially advisable for those who have a history of breast or ovarian cancer in the family or who are deemed likely to have inherited the mutation. Other options include mammography screenings as well as specialized monitoring and genetic counseling. Such individuals should start screening at the age of 25, while all women should be screening from the age of 40 to ensure prevention and proper care, if necessary.
Lynparza: Prognosis and Treatment
With Lynparza, the prognosis for early-stage breast cancer patients has changed overnight. The drug works as a parp inhibitor, which targets a specific weakness in the DNA and helps repair the system. It is already showing success in treating later-stage breast cancer patients with widespread and incurable cancer. The research is showing quite positive signs for Lynparza to be an effective treatment. While the standard methods of prevention, diagnostics, and treatment are still crucial (screening, testing, chemotherapy, radiation, radiotherapy, etc.), the drug, if approved, could have a very important impact.