FDA approves first drug to treat inherited breast cancer


The Food and Drug Administration today approved AstraZeneca PLC's Lynparza, the first drug aimed at women with advanced breast cancer caused by an inherited flawed gene.

The research, led by the University of Southampton, concludes that BRCA-mutated breast cancer is no more risky or aggressive than any other form of the disease.

Twelve percent of patients had either a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

Susan M. Domchek, executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and a national leader on the OlympiAD trials, said: "Patients diagnosed with BRCA-related metastatic breast cancer are often younger than other breast cancer patients, and their disease is often much more aggressive and hard to treat".

Miss Jolie, 42, famously chose to have her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to reduce her cancer risk, after her mother died of ovarian cancer aged just 56. A person's cancer risk can vary a lot depending on which mutation they have.

The researchers found that 12 percent of patients had a pathogenic BRCA mutation. The hope is that by blocking the fix of cancer cells, the cells will die and slow or stop tumor growth, the FDA said in a news release Friday.

The PARP inhibitor is now available to patients with deleterious or suspected germline BRCA-mutated (bBRCAm), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC) who have been previously treated with chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant or metastatic setting.

This was not affected by the women's body mass index or ethnicity. Affects one in 1,000 women. Affects three-quarters of women.

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MCM8 - Also associated with early menopause.

The study included 2733 women from 127 hospitals in the United Kingdom who had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40 or below.

Some 89 per cent underwent chemotherapy.

Consultant breast surgeon Fiona MacNeill, of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London, said: 'This is an important large prospective national study.

"We know there are limited treatment options for patients with metastatic breast cancer", said ue Friedman, Executive Director and founder of the nonprofit organization, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE). The Basser Center was the first comprehensive BRCA-focused center of its kind with research initiatives ranging from the basic biology of BRCA-related cancers to communication of BRCA test results within families.

Women who have had breast cancer are also more likely to be diagnosed with the disease a second time if they carry these genetic faults, which is why some choose to have risk-reducing surgery such as removing the breasts.

'In particular, being able to give some women with triple negative breast cancer the choice to delay a risk-reducing mastectomy would allow them to take back control of a major part of their treatment and offer them more time to recover from their initial therapy.