BACKGROUND: The poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib potentiated radiation and temozolomide chemotherapy in pre-clinical glioblastoma models but brain penetration was poor. Clinically, PARP inhibitors exacerbate the hematological side-effects of temozolomide. The OPARATIC trial was conducted to measure penetration of recurrent glioblastoma by olaparib, and assess the safety and tolerability of its combination with temozolomide.
METHODS: Pre-clinical pharmacokinetic studies evaluated olaparib tissue distribution in rats and tumor-bearing mice. Adult patients with recurrent glioblastoma received various doses and schedules of olaparib and low-dose temozolomide in a 3+3 design. Suitable patients received olaparib prior to neurosurgical resection; olaparib concentrations in plasma, tumour core and tumour margin specimens were measured by mass spectrometry. A dose expansion cohort tested tolerability and efficacy of the recommended phase II dose (RP2D). Radiosensitizing effects of olaparib were measured by clonogenic survival in glioblastoma cell lines.
RESULTS: Olaparib was a substrate for multi-drug resistance protein-1 and showed no brain penetration in rats but was detected in orthotopic glioblastoma xenografts. Clinically, olaparib was detected in 71/71 tumor core specimens (27 patients, median 496nM) and 21/21 tumor margin specimens (9 patients, median 512.3nM). Olaparib exacerbated TMZ-related hematological toxicity, necessitating intermittent dosing. RP2D was olaparib 150mg (3 days/week) with TMZ 75mg/m2 daily for 42 days. Fourteen (36%) of 39 evaluable patients were progression-free at 6 months. Olaparib radiosensitized six glioblastoma cell lines at clinically relevant concentrations of 100 and 500 nM.
CONCLUSIONS: Olaparib reliably penetrates recurrent glioblastoma at radiosensitizing concentrations, supporting further clinical development and highlighting the need for better pre-clinical models.