Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

HRDetect is a predictor of BRCA1 and BRCA2 deficiency based on mutational signatures

  • Helen R. Davies
  • Dominik Glodzik
  • Sandro Morganella
  • Lucy R. Yates
  • Johan Staaf
  • Xueqing Zou
  • Manasa Ramakrishna
  • Sancha Martin
  • Sandrine Boyault
  • Anieta M. Sieuwerts
  • Peter T Simpson
  • Tari A King
  • Keiran Raine
  • Jorunn E. Eyfjord
  • Gu Kong
  • Åke Borg
  • Ewan Birney
  • Hendrik G. Stunnenberg
  • Marc J van de Vijver
  • Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale
  • John W. M. Martens
  • Paul N. Span
  • Sunil R. Lakhani
  • Anne Vincent-Salomon
  • Christos Sotiriou
  • Andrew Tutt
  • Alastair M Thompson
  • Steven Van Laere
  • Andrea L. Richardson
  • Alain Viari
  • Peter J. Campbell
  • Michael R. Stratton
  • Serena Nik-Zainal
Publishing year: 2017-04
Language: English
Pages: 517-525
Publication/Series: Nature Medicine
Volume: 23
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Abstract english

Approximately 1-5% of breast cancers are attributed to inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and are selectively sensitive to poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. In other cancer types, germline and/or somatic mutations in BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 (BRCA1/BRCA2) also confer selective sensitivity to PARP inhibitors. Thus, assays to detect BRCA1/BRCA2-deficient tumors have been sought. Recently, somatic substitution, insertion/deletion and rearrangement patterns, or 'mutational signatures', were associated with BRCA1/BRCA2 dysfunction. Herein we used a lasso logistic regression model to identify six distinguishing mutational signatures predictive of BRCA1/BRCA2 deficiency. A weighted model called HRDetect was developed to accurately detect BRCA1/BRCA2-deficient samples. HRDetect identifies BRCA1/BRCA2-deficient tumors with 98.7% sensitivity (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.98). Application of this model in a cohort of 560 individuals with breast cancer, of whom 22 were known to carry a germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, allowed us to identify an additional 22 tumors with somatic loss of BRCA1 or BRCA2 and 47 tumors with functional BRCA1/BRCA2 deficiency where no mutation was detected. We validated HRDetect on independent cohorts of breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers and demonstrated its efficacy in alternative sequencing strategies. Integrating all of the classes of mutational signatures thus reveals a larger proportion of individuals with breast cancer harboring BRCA1/BRCA2 deficiency (up to 22%) than hitherto appreciated (∼1-5%) who could have selective therapeutic sensitivity to PARP inhibition.


  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Research Group Lung Cancer
  • Familial Breast Cancer
  • ISSN: 1546-170X
Åke Borg
Åke Borg
E-mail: ake [dot] borg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Principal investigator

Oncology and Pathology, MV

+46 46 275 25 52

MV 404 C21B2


Project manager

Familial Breast Cancer



Oncology and Pathology, MV

MV 404 C21C2