Other Roles for the HRD Assay

Despite having no clinical role for selecting chemotherapy for TNBC, the HRD assay may have utility for selecting other therapies involved with DNA damage — PARP inhibitors, for example.

SWOG S1416 (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02595905) compared cisplatin treatments for metastatic TNBC or germline BRCA1/2-associated metastatic breast cancer plus either the PARP inhibitor veliparib or placebo.9 Biomarkers used in the study identified a subgroup of BRCA wild-type TNBC that benefited from the combination treatment.

“The HRD assay or HRD biomarkers may be helpful in selecting patients who would benefit from PARP inhibitor addition to platinum-based chemotherapy,” SWOG S1416 study author Dr Sharma said, noting that the assay is not clinically approved for this indication.

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The HRD assay is also included as a companion diagnostic in the approval for the PARP inhibitor olaparib for advanced ovarian cancer that is HRD positive. More recently, the role of HRD is being explored in prostate cancer as well.

“There is still great interest in the concept of HRD,” Dr Mayer said. “We will continue to analyze data from the TBCRC study to see if other biomarkers or signatures may have greater precision in identifying tumors that are more or less sensitive to specific chemotherapy.”


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