Functional RECAP (REpair CAPacity) assay identifies homologous recombination deficiency undetected by DNA-based BRCAness tests.


Germline BRCA1/2 mutation status is predictive for response to Poly-[ADP-Ribose]-Polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in breast cancer (BC) patients. However, non-germline BRCA1/2 mutated and homologous recombination repair deficient (HRD) tumors are likely also PARP-inhibitor sensitive. Clinical validity and utility of various HRD biomarkers are under investigation. The REpair CAPacity (RECAP) test is a functional method to select HRD tumors based on their inability to form RAD51 foci. We investigated whether this functional test defines a similar group of HRD tumors as DNA-based tests. An HRD enriched cohort (n = 71; 52 primary and 19 metastatic BCs) selected based on the RECAP test (26 RECAP-HRD; 37%), was subjected to DNA-based HRD tests (i.e., Classifier of HOmologous Recombination Deficiency (CHORD) and BRCA1/2-like classifier). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was carried out for 38 primary and 19 metastatic BCs. The RECAP test identified all bi-allelic BRCA deficient samples (n = 15) in this cohort. RECAP status partially correlated with DNA-based HRD test outcomes (70% concordance for both RECAP-CHORD and RECAP-BRCA1/2-like classifier). RECAP selected additional samples unable to form RAD51 foci, suggesting that this functional assay identified deficiencies in other DNA repair genes, which could also result in PARP-inhibitor sensitivity. Direct comparison of these HRD tests in clinical trials will be required to evaluate the optimal predictive test for clinical decision making.

More about this publication

  • Volume 41
  • Issue nr. 26
  • Pages 3498-3506
  • Publication date 01-06-2022

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