This week marks a major development for patients with inherited breast or prostate cancer in England and Wales, as the NHS has announced that Olaparib is now being offered as a targeted therapy.  

Olaparib is a drug used to treat a type of inherited cancer known as a germline mutation. It has been available in the UK since 2014, but only on a private basis. This announcement means that hundreds of people can now benefit from the drug on the NHS. The drug works by blocking a key enzyme in cells, which helps to prevent cancer cells from growing. 

Studies have shown that Olaparib is able to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduce the risk of recurrence in patients with inherited breast or prostate cancer. This is hugely encouraging news for people with these conditions, as it could mean increased survival rates and improved quality of life. 

The introduction of Olaparib on the NHS will bring about a significant change for those affected by inherited breast or prostate cancer in the UK. It is the first targeted therapy to be available on the NHS for this type of cancer, and it is expected to help hundreds of people access the treatment they need.  

These developments are a welcome step forward for cancer treatment and demonstrate the commitment of the NHS to providing access to the latest treatments to those who need them. 

It is important to remember, however, that Olaparib is only effective for certain types of inherited breast or prostate cancer, and it may not be suitable for everyone. It is therefore vital that patients and their families discuss the treatment with their medical team before beginning any course of therapy.  

Overall, the availability of Olaparib on the NHS marks an important milestone in the fight against inherited breast or prostate cancer. It is a major step forward for those affected, and it is hoped that the drug will help to improve outcomes and increase survival rates. 


Check out Dr Ash Ramzan’s comments on this topic from earlier in the week

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