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MSD and AstraZeneca announce phase 3 results for prostate cancer therapy

The results show that the Lynparza combination therapy significantly improved radiographic progression-free survival


MSD – known as Merck & Co in the US and Canada –  and AstraZeneca have shared positive results from the PROpel phase 3 trial for the combination therapy of Lynparza (olaparib) plus abiraterone in first-line metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

The results from the randomised phase 3 trial have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Evidence.

The results demonstrated that the Lynparza combination therapy significantly improved radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS).

The risk of disease progression or death was shown to have been reduced by 34%, when using the combination therapy versus standard-of-care, and the safety and tolerance profile of the combination treatment was similar to that of earlier clinical trials.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in male patients and resulted in around 375,000 deaths in 2020. Overall survival for patients with mCRPC – in clinical trial settings – is approximately three years, while in the real-world setting this time frame is shorter.

Noel Clarke, professor of urological oncology at The Christie/Salford Royal Hospitals and University of Manchester, PROpel trial joint chief investigator and joint lead author of the NEJM Evidence manuscript, said: “It is critically important that we identify new first-line treatment options for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The data published in NEJM Evidence emphasises the therapeutic potential of combining olaparib with abiraterone and prednisone and demonstrates efficacy in a wider group of patients beyond those with documented DNA repair deficiency.”

In September 2021, the Independent Data Monitoring Committee summarised that the PROpel trial met the primary endpoint of rPFS. The results were presented during the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, while the additional data on Safety and Tolerability as well as Pharmacokinetics were presented at ASCO 2022 on 6 June 2022.

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

21st June 2022

From: Research, Healthcare



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