In a study published last week in The New England Journal of Medicine, British drugmaker AstraZeneca said that in a late-stage trial, its drug Lynparza reduced the risk of relapse and death in breast cancer patients with certain gene mutations.
Lynparza was developed with Merck, and works to inhibit PARP, a protein that repairs DNA damage to cells — including those that are cancerous. It can be given as a maintenance therapy or an active treatment after chemotherapy. The study found that compared to a placebo, Lynparza reduced the combined risk of recurrence of breast cancer or death from any cause by 42 percent, Reuters reports.
Globally, breast cancer is now the most common form of the disease, the World Health Organization said in February, accounting for almost 12 percent of new cases every year.