Homologous recombination and ovarian cancer: role of developing a functional assay


Session type:

Asima Mukhopadhyay, Yvette Drew, Evan Mulligan, Sarah Wilkinson, Suzanne Kyle, Ahmed Elatter, Nicola Curtin, Richard Edmondson

Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University, UK



10-15% of epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs) have mutations in BRCA 1/2 genes rendering them deficient in homologous recombination (HR). PARP inhibitors have been shown to be synthetically lethal in BRCA deficient cancers and clinical trials are currently evaluating the role of PARP inhibitors in this group of patients. However, up to 30% of EOCs could be deficient in HR due to epigenetic silencing of BRCA 1 or 2 or other genetic or epigenetic defects in other HR genes. Therefore there is a potential of extending the use of PARP inhibitors to these patients if HR status can be identified.


To develop a functional assay to predict HR status in primary cultures of EOCs and correlate with sensitivity to PARP inhibitors.


Primary cultures were developed from ascitic fluid from patients with EOCs.