Overall Survival Results From the POLO Trial: A Phase III Study of Active Maintenance Olaparib Versus Placebo for Germline BRCA-Mutated Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2022 Dec 1;40(34):3929-3939. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.01604. Epub 2022 Jul 14.


Purpose: The phase III POLO study demonstrated significant progression-free survival (PFS) benefit for active olaparib maintenance therapy versus placebo for patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma and a germline BRCA mutation. Here, we report the final analysis of overall survival (OS) and other secondary end points.

Patients and methods: Patients with a deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA mutation whose disease had not progressed after ≥ 16 weeks of first-line platinum-based chemotherapy were randomly assigned 3:2 to active maintenance olaparib (300 mg twice daily) or placebo. The primary end point was PFS; secondary end points included OS, time to second disease progression or death, time to first and second subsequent cancer therapies or death, time to discontinuation of study treatment or death, and safety and tolerability.

Results: In total, 154 patients were randomly assigned (olaparib, n = 92; placebo, n = 62). No statistically significant OS benefit was observed (median 19.0 v 19.2 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.83; 95% CI, 0.56 to 1.22; P = .3487). Kaplan-Meier OS curves separated at approximately 24 months, and the estimated 3-year survival after random assignment was 33.9% versus 17.8%, respectively. Median time to first subsequent cancer therapy or death (HR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.66; P < .0001), time to second subsequent cancer therapy or death (HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.89; P = .0111), and time to discontinuation of study treatment or death (HR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.29 to 0.63; P < .0001) significantly favored olaparib. The HR for second disease progression or death favored olaparib without reaching statistical significance (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.43 to 1.02; P = .0613). Olaparib was well tolerated with no new safety signals.

Conclusion: Although no statistically significant OS benefit was observed, the HR numerically favored olaparib, which also conferred clinically meaningful benefits including increased time off chemotherapy and long-term survival in a subset of patients.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02184195.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / drug therapy
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Germ Cells / pathology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Phthalazines / adverse effects


  • olaparib
  • Phthalazines

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02184195