Ovarian Cancer-Specific <i>BRCA</i>-like Copy-Number Aberration Classifiers Detect Mutations Associated with Homologous Recombination Deficiency in the AGO-TR1 Trial.



The newly trained classifiers detected most BRCA-mutated and methylated cancers and all tumors harboring a RAD51C germline mutations. Beyond that, we found an additional substantial proportion of ovarian cancers to be BRCA-like.


Previously, we developed breast cancer BRCA1-like and BRCA2-like copy-number profile shrunken centroid classifiers predictive for mutation status and response to therapy, targeting homologous recombination deficiency (HRD). Therefore, we investigated BRCA1- and BRCA2-like classification in ovarian cancer, aiming to acquire classifiers with similar properties as those in breast cancer.Experimental Design: We analyzed DNA copy-number profiles of germline BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutant ovarian cancers and control tumors and observed that existing breast cancer classifiers did not sufficiently predict mutation status. Hence, we trained new shrunken centroid classifiers on this set and validated them in the independent The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset. Subsequently, we assessed BRCA1/2-like classification and obtained germline and tumor mutation and methylation status of cancer predisposition genes, among them several involved in HR repair, of 300 ovarian cancer samples derived from the consecutive cohort trial AGO-TR1 (NCT02222883).


The detection rate of the BRCA1-like classifier for BRCA1 mutations and promoter hypermethylation was 95.6%. The BRCA2-like classifier performed less accurately, likely due to a smaller training set. Furthermore, three quarters of the BRCA1/2-like tumors could be explained by (epi)genetic alterations in BRCA1/2, germline RAD51C mutations and alterations in other genes involved in HR. Around half of the non-BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer cases displayed a BRCA-like phenotype.

More about this publication

Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research
  • Volume 27
  • Issue nr. 23
  • Pages 6559-6569
  • Publication date 01-12-2021

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