ARIEL3: Rucaparib maintenance treatment for recurrent ovarian carcinoma

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Published: 7 Oct 2019
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Dr Jonathan Ledermann - University College Hospital, London, UK

Dr Jonathan Ledermann speaks to ecancer at ESMO 2019 in Barcelona about the ARIEL3 trial.

The analysis that Dr Ledermann describes is an update from ESMO 2017. They wanted to see whether rucaparib was similar or improved a partial or complete response to platinum based chemotherapy.

He highlights that it is not just a maintenance drug, but it also has a therapeutic effect.

ARIEL3 is a trial of maintenance rucaparib in patients with high grade recurrent ovarian cancer that has responded to platinum based chemotherapy. I presented the results of the trial at ESMO in 2017 and we presented here at ESMO this year another analysis of ARIEL3 looking at patients who had a partial or complete response to chemotherapy before they started the trial. So patients will have had platinum based chemotherapy before entering the study and some of these patients will have had a complete response and others a partial response. What we wanted to see was whether the effect of rucaparib in those patients was similar or different.

What we showed was that the magnitude of the effect of rucaparib was similar in patients who had a partial response compared to those who had a complete response which is very important information because it shows the drug is equally effective in both groups of patients. Some of those patients who had a partial response had measurable disease at the end of the chemotherapy phase before they started rucaparib. What we were able to show was in those patients who had measurable disease there was in many cases a further response to rucaparib therapy, indicating that the drug not only maintains the state of the patient in a partial response or complete response but actually can deepen the response. I think this adds to the prolonged benefit that we see with drugs such as rucaparib. They’re not only drugs that act as maintenance but they are also drugs that have their own therapeutic effect on tumours.