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NHS drug will treat hereditary cancers

Words by Abi Scaife

A drug to treat inherited cancers is now available on the NHS.

Tell me more.

Olaparib is a drug that has been designed to treat specific cancers linked to faulty versions of genes known as BRCAs.

Around 800 people will be available for the treatment.

How does it work?

The drug will be available for men with advanced prostate cancer, and women with HER2-negative early breast cancer, who are at a high risk of the disease returning. These people will be able to access the drug on the NHS immediately.

Olaparib works by blocking an important enzyme that, essentially, repairs damaged DNA. This means that healthy cells remain intact, while cancer cells are prevented from replicating.

When the drug was trialled, 82.7% of people were alive and free of breast cancer after four years, after chemotherapy and surgery and olaparib.

If you’re interested in supporting people with breast cancer, you can do so by supporting Breast Cancer Now.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs