Tesaro decision to invest millions of dollars into the development of an anti-tumor drug proved to be one of the company’s best decisions because it was discovered that niraparib is highly effective in slowing the progression of ovarian cancer.
This applies to patients who previously went under therapies based on platinum. According to the statistics, ovarian cancer is the second woman killer and a type of cancer with which is very hard to deal.
Around 85 percent of the patients suffering from this devastating disease are most likely to see a cancer relapse even after the best treatment.
But this situation might change, as the new drug will give doctors more time to find a better strategy to tackle this disease. By killing tumor cells and slowing the progression of cancer, this drug provides women with the opportunity of improving their life quality as well.
Back in 2012, niraparib was nothing more than a drug concept which needed various tests to be regarded as safe and efficient. But when the phase 3 trial results came out, experts realized that this drug is revolutionary because it slows the tumor’s progression and it delays the ovarian cancer relapse.
Scientists explain that this type of medication reduces the PARP activity, which are basically proteins that heal the DNA.
Even if it might sound unusual at first, these proteins are vital for healthy patients, but when it comes to people suffering from ovarian cancer, PARP reduces the effectiveness of chemotherapy on cancer DNA.
In other words, high PARP activity means that chemotherapy can sometimes be ineffective in destroying cancer cells. Usually, patients carrying the germline BRCA mutation had an average of five and a half months when cancer did not progress further.
But when patients took niraparib during trials, doctors discovered later that these participants had a survival rate of 21 months, almost four times higher compared with patients who were not taking niraparib.
Also, patients who suffered from homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) had an average of 3.9 months of progression-free survival rate, whereas the ones who were given niraparib had a survival rate of 9.3 months, more than twice compared with the other patients.
If FDA approves the use of this drug throughout the United States, it will most likely improve the life quality of many ovarian cancer fighters. Scientists will double their efforts to make this treatment even more efficient in dealing with this disease.