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Olaparib made available in England to women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer

NICE, the government body in England that makes decisions on treatments available to patients on the NHS, has now approved the innovative cancer drug olaparib for all newly diagnosed women with advanced ovarian cancer who carry specific mutations to either one of two genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Olaparib is already a last option treatment for women with advanced ovarian cancer  and this new decision extends the use of olaparib to be used a first-line treatment for newly diagnosed women with advanced ovarian cancer who are responding to chemotherapy.

Our chief executive, Dr Helen Rippon, reacted to the news:

“We are delighted to hear that the cancer drug olaparib is being offered in England to newly diagnosed women with advanced ovarian cancer who have a specific genetic mutation to the BRCA genes. It’s a huge step forward for a drug that we have already seen can save the lives of women with advanced ovarian cancer. This decision means that more women will now have access to an innovative drug designed to target and kill their cancer.

It’s now crucial that the NHS starts to offer genetic testing for BRCA to all newly diagnosed women with ovarian cancer in order to identify every person who could benefit from taking olaparib alongside chemotherapy.

Olaparib emerged as a collaborative effort involving research supported by cancer charities across the UK, including vital research funded by our supporters. All the people that have raised funds for Worldwide Cancer Research should be proud that they have played a significant part in helping to get olaparib to where it is today.”

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