Better screened than sorry!—an informed panel of inherited DNA repair gene variants for prostate cancer screening and prognostication

Giulia Fracassi, Francesca Lorenzin, Francesca Demichelis


DNA repair gene (DRG) alterations have been established as an emerging class of biomarkers and targets for cancer therapies. Although mutations interfering with specific DNA repair pathways have been characterized and exploited mainly in breast and ovarian cancers, the recent identification of a fraction of primary and metastatic prostate cancer (PCa) patients harboring similar defects has opened up for testing DRG mutation-induced vulnerabilities also for this disease (1,2). Enthusiasm was especially triggered by seminal work by Mateo et al., which highlighted the clinical efficacy of exploiting DRG alterations by reporting preferential positive response to PARP inhibition in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) patients (3). Altogether this suggested a novel class of biomarkers to molecularly stratify mCRPC patients and increased the interest in the identification of additional DRG alterations in PCa patients.