Zejula-Keytruda Shows Promising Response Rates for Triple-negative Breast Cancer in Phase 1/2 Trial

Zejula-Keytruda Shows Promising Response Rates for Triple-negative Breast Cancer in Phase 1/2 Trial
A combination of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Zejula (niraparib) has shown promising and durable response rates in triple-negative breast cancer patients, regardless of their BRCA mutational status, Phase 1/2 trial data show. The trial, called TOPACIO (NCT02657889), is assessing the combination in triple-negative breast cancer patients with advanced or metastatic disease and in women with ovarian cancer. Results from the breast cancer group were recently presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, in an oral presentation, titled “TOPACIO/Keynote-162: Niraparib + pembrolizumab in patients (pts) with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a phase 2 trial.” PARP enzymes act as DNA damage sensors, binding to the sites of DNA damage and contributing to their repair. Cancer cells that have defects in other DNA repair mechanisms — such as those with mutated BRCA tumor suppressor genes — rely on PARP to survive and proliferate. Zejula, developed by TESARO, is a PARP inhibitor that leads to the accumulation of DNA damage and ultimately to the death of these cancer cells. The medicine is already approved as a maintenance therapy for ovarian cancer patients, and has shown promise in breast cancer patients with mutations in the BRCA genes. Keytruda, developed by Merck, has been
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