Purpose Gastric cancer cell lines, particularly those with low levels of ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM), a key activator of DNA damage response, are sensitive to the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib. We compared the efficacy of olaparib plus paclitaxel (olaparib/paclitaxel) with paclitaxel alone in patients with recurrent or metastatic gastric cancer and assessed whether low ATM expression is predictive of improved clinical outcome for olaparib/paclitaxel. Patients and Methods In this phase II, double-blind study (Study 39; NCT01063517), patients were randomly assigned to oral olaparib 100 mg twice per day (tablets) plus paclitaxel (80 mg/m2 per day intravenously on days 1, 8, and 15 of every 28-day cycle) or placebo plus paclitaxel (placebo/paclitaxel), followed by maintenance monotherapy with olaparib (200 mg twice per day) or placebo. The study population was enriched to 50% for patients with low or undetectable ATM levels (ATMlow). Primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Results One hundred twenty-three of 124 randomly assigned patients received treatment (olaparib/ paclitaxel, n = 61; placebo/paclitaxel, n = 62). The screening prevalence of ATMlow patients was 14%. Olaparib/paclitaxel did not lead to a significant improvement in PFS versus placebo/paclitaxel (overall population: hazard ratio [HR], 0.80; median PFS, 3.91 v 3.55 months, respectively; ATMlow population: HR, 0.74; median PFS, 5.29 v 3.68 months, respectively). However, olaparib/paclitaxel significantly improved overall survival (OS) versus placebo/paclitaxel in both the overall population (HR, 0.56; 80% CI, 0.41 to 0.75; P = .005; median OS, 13.1 v 8.3 months, respectively) and the ATMlow population (HR, 0.35; 80% CI, 0.22 to 0.56; P = .002; median OS, not reached v 8.2 months, respectively). Olaparib/paclitaxel was generally well tolerated, with no unexpected safety findings. Conclusion Olaparib/paclitaxel is active in the treatment of patients with metastatic gastric cancer, with a greater OS benefit in ATMlow patients. A phase III trial in this setting is under way.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research