Olaparib for ovarian cancer: a single-institution, multi-site qualitative study

Nichole A. Martin, Mina Hanna, Christopher Ehret, Gladys Asiedu, Aminah Jatoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This qualitative study sought to learn patients’ perspectives on olaparib — including maintenance olaparib — in their own words. Methods: Olaparib-treated patients were interviewed by phone. A semi-structured interview guide that focused on symptoms and quality of life was formulated in alignment with the study objective. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed with content analysis. Results: Twenty olaparib-treated patients were interviewed. Four themes emerged: (1) The Long Cancer Journey. Patients prescribed olaparib appear to have had a long cancer journey, sometimes with prior cancer (“I had breast cancer in 1996”) and sometimes with a long interval from an ovarian cancer diagnosis; (2) Adherence. Despite this journey, patients were adherent to olaparib (“I set it for an alarm 15 min before I have to take [olaparib] and then exactly when I’m supposed to take it”); (3) Adherence Despite Challenges. Adherence continued despite side effects (although olaparib was “pretty tolerable”). This adherence also continued despite cost (“…for a month’s supply, mine was $15,837… and my insurance covered some of it but not near enough”), and (4) Modifications in Perceptions of BRCA Status. Olaparib as cancer therapy influenced perceptions of BRCA mutations (“But I… I have to tell you, I’m grateful that I qualified to be on Lynparza®”). Conclusion: Although oral maintenance therapy for ovarian cancer is relatively new, patients appear willing to take olaparib long term; and they seem to take great lengths to remain adherent, despite having sometimes had a long cancer journey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4807-4812
Number of pages6
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Maintenance therapy
  • Mutations
  • Olaparib
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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