The need for breast cancer genetic diagnosis for the use of olaparib

breast cancer olaparib

Brest cancer is a disease with a very high incidence in Spain, where approximately 7% are inherited cases. The main genes closely associated with this type of cancer are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are located in the long arm of chromosome 17 (17q21) and in chromosome 13 (13q12), respectively.

In June, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study stating that olaparib, a drug that damages the DNA of tumor cells and inhibits its repair, helped improving treatments for breast cancer with mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

In the words of Judith Balmaña, a researcher at Vall d’Hebron’s Oncology Institute and coauthor of the study, this finding will increase the number of cases in whom genetic studies must be performed in order to apply personalized treatments for patients who need it.

Olaparib is a drug administered orally for one year and must be combined with surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. This drug lowers the chances of a new tumor appearing in the following three years.

1. CORBELLA J. A drug improves hereditary breast cancer treatment.2021;Available from:

2. Tutt ANJ, Garber JE, Kaufman B, Viale G, Fumagalli D, Rastogi P, et al. Adjuvant Olaparib for Patients with BRCA1- or BRCA2-Mutated Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med 2021 06/03; 2021/06.