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Posted by on Jul 30, 2019 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the risk of fatigue and anemia with olaparib (Lynparza) treatment. The study found that there is an increased risk of fatigue and anemia with this treatment.

Some background

Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer affecting women. Some types of BC are caused by genetic mutations. These types of BC can be aggressive and  become advanced very quickly. Olaparib is a newly approved drug developed for advanced BC and other cancers. Olaparib works by blocking an enzyme called PARP. This enzyme is important in the growth of cancer cells. Blocking PARP stops cancer cells from repairing their DNA. This slows tumor growth. 

Treatment-related side effects can have a negative impact on patient quality of life. Two common side effects of most cancer drugs are fatigue and anemia. They can also be symptoms related to the cancer. It is unclear if treatment with olaparib can increase the risk of fatigue and/or anemia.

Methods & findings

This study analyzed data from 9 clinical trials with olaparib. In some studies, olaparib was compared to a placebo. In other studies, it was combined with other anti-cancer drugs. The authors extracted information on side effects of the treatment. The risks of fatigue and anemia associated with olaparib treatment were calculated.  'All grade' (AG) described fatigue/anemia of any level. 'High grade' (HR) described a high level of fatigue/anemia. 

The risk of AG fatigue was 24% higher in olaparib-treated patients. The risk of HG fatigue was 71% higher in olaparib-treated patients. These studies compared olaparib to placebo or chemotherapy.

The risk of AG anemia was 2.1 times greater with olaparib. The risk of HG anemia was 3.15 times greater with olaparib. The risk of fatigue and anemia was higher in studies that used higher doses of olaparib.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that there is an increased risk of fatigue and anemia with olaparib treatment.

The fine print

Individual patient data were not available for analysis. More investigation is needed. 

What’s next?

If you have any concern regarding breast cancer treatment and its side effects, please consult with your oncologist. 

Published By :

Critical reviews in oncology/hematology

Date :

Jul 06, 2019

Original Title :

Risk of fatigue and anemia in patients with advanced cancer treated with olaparib: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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