Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has revealed that Lynparza (olaparib) is currently available for National Health Service (NHS) patients in England and Wales suffering from platinum-sensitive relapsed (PSR), BRCA-mutated (BRCAm), high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
The oral treatment is the first targeted therapy for women and will be used on patients with BRCAm ovarian cancer who have undergone three or more courses of platinum-based chemotherapy.
AstraZeneca UK and Ireland country president Lisa Anson said: "AstraZeneca is delighted that NHS patients in England and Wales will now have the opportunity to benefit from olaparib, a treatment that was discovered and developed with the support of the British science community.
"Patients with recurrent ovarian cancer often have a poor prognosis and so the introduction of a targeted treatment option for those with the BRCA mutation is great news for them."
On 27 January 2016, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published Technology Appraisal Guidance (TAG) that suggested olaparib to be a cost-effective post-chemotherapy maintenance treatment option for people who belong to this group.
University College London Cancer Institute Medical Oncology professor and olaparib clinical trial primary investigator Jonathan Ledermann said: "We have entered a new era for how women with ovarian cancer and a BRCA mutation are treated by the NHS in England and Wales.
"Until now, treatment options have been limited to conventional chemotherapy and surgery.
"It is important that clinical staff offer their patients with ovarian cancer a test for a BRCA mutation as soon as possible, to find out if olaparib is an appropriate treatment option for them."
Currently, trials for BRCA mutations are suggested by NICE in patients with a 10% or greater risk of carrying a BRCA mutation.
Clinical trials reveal that olaparib significantly increases the time taken for the disease to progress and the time to further chemotherapy cycles.