Phase II, open-label, randomized, multicenter study comparing the efficacy and safety of olaparib, a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor, and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations and recurrent ovarian cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2012 Feb 1;30(4):372-9. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.36.9215. Epub 2011 Dec 27.


Purpose: Olaparib (AZD2281), an orally active poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor that induces synthetic lethality in BRCA1- or BRCA2-deficient cells, has shown promising clinical efficacy in nonrandomized phase II trials in patients with ovarian cancer with BRCA1 or BRCA2 deficiency. We assessed the comparative efficacy and safety of olaparib and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in this patient population.

Patients and methods: In this multicenter, open-label, randomized, phase II study, patients with ovarian cancer that recurred within 12 months of prior platinum therapy and with confirmed germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations were enrolled. Patients were assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to olaparib 200 mg twice per day or 400 mg twice per day continuously or PLD 50 mg/m(2) intravenously every 28 days. The primary efficacy end point was Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) -assessed progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary end points included objective response rate (ORR) and safety.

Results: Ninety-seven patients were randomly assigned. Median PFS was 6.5 months (95% CI, 5.5 to 10.1 months), 8.8 months (95% CI, 5.4 to 9.2 months), and 7.1 months (95% CI, 3.7 to 10.7 months) for the olaparib 200 mg, olaparib 400 mg, and PLD groups, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in PFS (hazard ratio, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.51 to 1.56; P = .66) for combined olaparib doses versus PLD. RECIST-assessed ORRs were 25%, 31%, and 18% for olaparib 200 mg, olaparib 400 mg, and PLD, respectively; differences were not statistically significant. Tolerability of both treatments was as expected based on previous trials.

Conclusion: The efficacy of olaparib was consistent with previous studies. However, the efficacy of PLD was greater than expected. Olaparib 400 mg twice per day is a suitable dose to explore in further studies in this patient population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Doxorubicin / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Phthalazines / administration & dosage
  • Phthalazines / adverse effects
  • Piperazines / administration & dosage
  • Piperazines / adverse effects
  • Polyethylene Glycols / administration & dosage
  • Polyethylene Glycols / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis


  • Phthalazines
  • Piperazines
  • liposomal doxorubicin
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Doxorubicin
  • olaparib