Homologous recombination repair deficiency (HRD) testing in newly diagnosed advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer: A Belgian expert opinion
HRR deficiency, genomic instability, advanced ovarian cancer, PARPi
Published online: Jul 01 2022
Ovarian cancer (OC) has a poor prognosis as most patients present with non-specific symptoms and the disease is mostly diagnosed at advanced stages. Approximately 90% of cases are classified as epithelial OC (EOC), a category comprising histologically and molecularly distinct tumours. Identifying reliable biomarkers and employing personalised therapies in OC subgroups is crucial for battling the disease. EOCs are often characterised by homologous recombination repair deficiency (HRD), frequently caused by inactivation of the breast cancer susceptibility (BRCA) genes. These findings have led to the development of poly- (adenosine diphosphate [ADP])- ribose polymerase inhibitors (PARPi), which are synthetically lethal to HRD tumour cells. Both patients with HRD and non-HRD tumours can benefit from PARPi therapy in the recurrent setting. Moreover, recent phase III trials in patients with newly diagnosed advanced-stage OC have demonstrated greater clinical benefit from PARPi in treating HRD than non-HRD tumours. These findings offer new opportunities for the use of PARPi as maintenance therapy after first-line chemotherapy based on the presence of HRD. In the current article, we provide recommendations for HRD testing and treatment of patients with newly diagnosed advanced-stage EOC.