Olaparib in the treatment of ovarian cancer

Christina R. Washington, Debra L. Richardson, Kathleen N. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The poly ADP ribose polymerase olaparib is currently approved in front line BRCA-associated epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), platinum-sensitive recurrence agnostic to BRCA status and for gBRCA as treatment in the fourth line and beyond. Women who are diagnosed with advanced stage EOC face a formidable challenge in overcoming their disease and achieving long-term, disease-free survival. The qualifier here is disease free. EOC is largely exquisitely chemosensitive, especially in the treatment naive (first line) setting and the expectation is that the vast majority of women will complete front line platinum-based chemotherapy with a response. When unselected (not selected by BRCA) women are enrolled on clinical trials, the response rate among those who have measurable disease at the time of chemotherapy initiation is 48% for carboplatin/paclitaxel and 67% for carboplatin/paclitaxel plus bevacizumab. When one considers the addition of women who start chemotherapy without measurable disease, they will likely also end chemotherapy without measurable disease and the overall rate of no evidence of disease at conclusion of chemotherapy approaches 80%. Despite this, the majority of women will suffer relapse of their disease, typically within the first 3 years following completion of therapy. Once recurrent, the disease is highly treatable for many years but no longer considered curable. This review will cover indications for olaparib in ovarian cancer as well as ongoing combination trials and rationale for these combinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3435-3449
Number of pages15
JournalFuture Oncology
Issue number30
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • PARP inhibitor
  • clinical trials
  • gynecologic/ovarian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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