A real or apparent decrease in glomerular filtration rate in patients using olaparib?



We retrospectively identified patients using olaparib at the Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (NKI-AVL) from 2012 until 2020. Patients with at least one plasma or serum sample available at baseline/off treatment and during olaparib treatment were included. Cystatin C levels were measured, creatinine levels were available and renal function was determined by calculating the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using the Creatinine Equation (CKD-EPI 2009) and the Cystatin C Equation (CKD-EPI 2012).


This study demonstrates that olaparib likely causes inhibition of renal transporters leading to a reversible and dose-dependent increase in creatinine and does not affect GFR, since the median cystatin C-derived eGFR was comparable before/off treatment and during treatment of olaparib. Using the creatinine-derived eGFR can give an underestimation of GFR in patients taking olaparib. Therefore, an alternative renal marker such as cystatin C should be used to accurately calculate eGFR in patients taking olaparib.


In total, 66 patients were included. Olaparib treatment was associated with a 14% increase in median creatinine from 72 (inter quartile range (IQR): 22) μmol/L before/off treatment to 82 (IQR: 20) μmol/L during treatment (p < 0.001) and a 13% decrease in median creatinine-derived eGFR from 86 (IQR: 26) mL/min/1.73 m2 before/off treatment to 75 (IQR: 29) mL/min/1.73 m2 during treatment (p < 0.001). Olaparib treatment had no significant effect on median cystatin C levels (p = 0.520) and the median cystatin C-derived eGFR (p = 0.918).


Olaparib is a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor indicated for ovarian and metastatic breast cancer. Increased serum creatinine levels have been observed in patients taking olaparib, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. This study aimed to investigate if patients receiving olaparib have increased creatinine levels during olaparib treatment and whether this actually relates to a declined glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

More about this publication

European journal of clinical pharmacology
  • Volume 77
  • Issue nr. 2
  • Pages 179-188
  • Publication date 01-02-2021

This site uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.