A popular oral chemotherapy for treating genetic mutations is the focus of a new clinical trial for mesothelioma.

The drug, olaparib, is a maintenance therapy for advanced ovarian cancer cases with mutated BRCA genes. However, researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center want to test its effectiveness against mesothelioma gene mutations.

The phase 2 study for olaparib has room for 56 participants with diagnosed malignant mesothelioma. Both men and women can participate.

We can help see if you’re eligible for this study. Contact our registered nurse, Karen Ritter, for help signing up. Email her at karen@mesotheliomaguide.com.


What Is Olaparib?

Olaparib is an oral chemotherapy drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for adult cancer patients with specific genetic mutations. It’s sold under the brand name Lynparza. It’s a targeted therapy, similar to gene therapy or virotherapy drugs, but is classified as a chemotherapy drug.

Olaparib works by controlling and repairing damaged genes. The drug is a poly polymerase enzyme inhibitor. It includes three PARP enzymes, which help with DNA transcription and repair.

Participation in the study requires Homologous Recombination Deficient (HRD) mesothelioma. Homologous recombination is the body’s natural repair process of damaged DNA. When a patient is HRD, the body struggles to repair genetic strand breaks. This means cancer cells cannot repair themselves before producing new “broken” cells and spreading.

Olaparib is not FDA‑approved for mesothelioma, but this study may be the source of a future approval.


How This Mesothelioma Study Works

Participants will receive olaparib orally in 28-day cycles at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Patients will receive treatment at a medical center on Days 1 and 15 of the first cycle, and then every four weeks afterwards.

The primary outcome of the study is disease response:

  • Did the cancer shrink?
  • Did the spreading and growth stop?
  • How long did the disease respond positively to the therapy?

Other measurements to analyze are overall survival, progression‑free survival and frequency of side effects.

    Sources & Author

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About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.

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