Investigating BRCA Mutations: A Breakthrough in Precision Medicine of Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Alessandra Modena, Roberto Iacovelli, Aldo Scarpa, Matteo Brunelli, Chiara Ciccarese, Emanuela Fantinel, Davide Bimbatti, Francesco Massari, Guido Martignoni, Giampaolo Tortora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the development of novel effective therapeutic strategies, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) remains a disease with a lethal course and a high biological and molecular heterogeneity. To date, germline mutations in the BRCA gene represent one of the main risk factors for developing prostate cancer, with a strong association with aggressive phenotype and poor clinical outcomes. A better understanding of the genomic landscape of prostate cancer has strengthened the idea that “synthetic lethality” of this disease might be useful in cancer-drug discovery, focusing on agents such as platinum compounds and poly (adenosine diphosphate [ADP]-ribose) polymerase inhibitors (PARPi). In this review, we summarize the main data available on BRCA mutations and discuss the clinical implications of these genomic aberrations in the management of prostate cancer, stressing the need to identify prognostic and predictive biomarkers and to deeply understand the mechanisms of treatment resistance, in order to maximize personalized medicine protocols and therefore clinical benefit. [MediaObject not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalTargeted Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jul 11 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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