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Treating Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer: An Expert Recap of the POLO Trial Design & Results

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Join Dr Philip as he discusses the data from the POLO trial, which evaluated a treatment option for certain patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.



    LYNPARZA is a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor indicated for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious gBRCAm metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma whose disease has not progressed on at least 16 weeks of a first-line platinum-based chemotherapy regimen. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.


    There are no contraindications for LYNPARZA.

    Myelodysplastic Syndrome/Acute Myeloid Leukemia (MDS/AML): 
    Occurred in approximately 1.2% of patients with various BRCAm, gBRCAm, HRR gene-mutated or HRD-positive cancers who received LYNPARZA as a single agent or as part of a combination regimen, consistent with the approved indications, and the majority of events had a fatal outcome. The median duration of therapy in patients who developed MDS/AML was approximately 2 years (range: <6 months to >4 years). All of these patients had previous chemotherapy with platinum agents and/or other DNA-damaging agents, including radiotherapy.

    Do not start LYNPARZA until patients have recovered from hematological toxicity caused by previous chemotherapy (≤Grade 1). Monitor complete blood count for cytopenia at baseline and monthly thereafter for clinically significant changes during treatment. For prolonged hematological toxicities, interrupt LYNPARZA and monitor blood count weekly until recovery.

    If the levels have not recovered to Grade 1 or less after 4 weeks, refer the patient to a hematologist for further investigations, including bone marrow analysis and blood sample for cytogenetics. Discontinue LYNPARZA if MDS/AML is confirmed.

    Pneumonitis: Occurred in 0.8% of patients exposed to LYNPARZA monotherapy, and some cases were fatal. If patients present with new or worsening respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, cough, and fever, or a radiological abnormality occurs, interrupt LYNPARZA treatment and initiate prompt investigation. Discontinue LYNPARZA if pneumonitis is confirmed and treat patient appropriately.

    Venous Thromboembolism (VTE): Including severe or fatal pulmonary embolism (PE) occurred in patients treated with LYNPARZA. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and treat as medically appropriate, which may include long-term anticoagulation as clinically indicated.

    Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals, LYNPARZA can cause fetal harm. Verify pregnancy status in females of reproductive potential prior to initiating treatment. 

    Advise females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus and to use effective contraception during treatment and for 6 months following the last dose.

    Advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential or who are pregnant to use effective contraception during treatment and for 3 months following the last dose of LYNPARZA and to not donate sperm during this time.

    ADVERSE REACTIONS—First-Line Maintenance gBRCAm Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma 
    Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for POLO were: fatigue (60%), nausea (45%), abdominal pain (34%), diarrhea (29%), anemia (27%), decreased appetite (25%), constipation (23%), vomiting (20%), back pain (19%), arthralgia (15%), rash (15%), thrombocytopenia (14%), dyspnea (13%), neutropenia (12%), nasopharyngitis (12%), dysgeusia (11%), and stomatitis (10%). 

    Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for POLO were: increase in serum creatinine (99%), decrease in hemoglobin (86%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (71%), decrease in lymphocytes (61%), decrease in platelets (56%), decrease in leukocytes (50%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (25%). 

    Anticancer Agents:
     Clinical studies of LYNPARZA with other myelosuppressive anticancer agents, including DNA-damaging agents, indicate a potentiation and prolongation of myelosuppressive toxicity.

    CYP3A Inhibitors: Avoid coadministration of strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitors when using LYNPARZA. If a strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitor must be coadministered, reduce the dose of LYNPARZA. Advise patients to avoid grapefruit, grapefruit juice, Seville oranges, and Seville orange juice during LYNPARZA treatment.

    CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration of strong or moderate CYP3A inducers when using LYNPARZA.

     No data are available regarding the presence of olaparib in human milk, its effects on the breastfed infant or on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in the breastfed infant, advise a lactating woman not to breastfeed during treatment with LYNPARZA and for 1 month after receiving the final dose. 

    Pediatric Use: The safety and efficacy of LYNPARZA have not been established in pediatric patients.

    Hepatic Impairment: No adjustment to the starting dose is required in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh classification A and B). There are no data in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh classification C).

    Renal Impairment: No dosage modification is recommended in patients with mild renal impairment (CLcr 51-80 mL/min estimated by Cockcroft-Gault). In patients with moderate renal impairment (CLcr 31-50 mL/min), reduce the dose of LYNPARZA to 200 mg twice daily. There are no data in patients with severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease (CLcr ≤30 mL/min).

    Please see complete Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

    BRCAm=BRCA-mutated; gBRCAm=germline BRCA-mutated; HRD=homologous recombination deficiency; HRR=homologous recombination repair.

  • Overview

    The phase 3 POLO trial supported the approval of LYNPARZA as a maintenance treatment option for patients with germline BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer whose disease has not progressed on at least 16 weeks of first-line platinum-based chemotherapy.1,2 But how was the POLO trial designed, and what were the results? Tune in to watch the key findings on LYNPARZA with clinical oncologist Dr Philip Philip.

    Dr Philip was compensated for his time.

    1. LYNPARZA® (olaparib) [prescribing information]. Wilmington, DE: AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP; 2023.
    2. Golan T, Hammel P, Reni M, et al. Maintenance olaparib for germline BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer. N Engl J Med. 2019;381(4):317-327.

Schedule26 May 2024