A systematic review of the prevalence of DNA damage response gene mutations in prostate cancer

Shona H. Lang*, Stephanie L. Swift, Heath White, Kate Misso, Jos Kleijnen, Ruben G. W. Quek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Several ongoing international prostate cancer (PC) clinical trials are exploring therapies that target the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway. This systematic review summarizes the prevalence of DDR mutation carriers in the unselected (general) PC and familial PC populations. A total of 11 electronic databases, 10 conference proceedings, and grey literature sources were searched from their inception to December 2017. Studies reporting the prevalence of somatic and/or germline DDR mutations were summarized. Metastatic PC (mPC), castration-resistant PC (CRPC) and metastatic CRPC (mCRPC) subgroups were included. A total of 11,648 records were retrieved, and 80 studies (103 records) across all PC populations were included; 59 records were of unselected PC and 13 records of familial PC. Most data were available for DDR panels (n=12 studies), ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM; n=13), breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA)1 (n=14) and BRCA2 (n=20). ATM, BRCA2 and partner and localizer of BRCA2 (PALB2) had the highest mutation rates (>= 4%). Median prevalence rates for DDR germline mutations were 18.6% in PC (range, 17.2-19%; three studies, n=1,712), 11.6% in mPC (range, 11.4-11.8%; two studies, n=1,261) and 8.3% in mCRPC (range, 7.5-9.1%; two studies, n=738). Median prevalence rates for DDR somatic mutations were 10.7% in PC (range, 4.9-22%; three studies, n=680), 13.2% in mPC (range, 10-16.4%; two studies, n=105) and not reported (NR) in mCRPC. The prevalence of DDR germline and/or somatic mutations was 27% in PC (one study, n=221), 22.67% in mCRPC (one study, n=150) and NR in mPC. In familial PC, median mutation prevalence was 12.1% (range, 7.3-16.9%) for germline DDR (two studies, n=315) and 3.7% (range, 1.3-7.9%) for BRCA2 (six studies, n=945). In total, 88% of studies were at a high risk of bias. The prevalence of DDR gene mutations in PC varied widely within somatic subgroups depending on study size, genetic screening techniques, DDR mutation definition and PC diagnosis; somatic and/or germline DDR mutation prevalence was in the range of 23-27% in PC. These findings support DDR mutation testing for all patients with PC (including those with mCRPC). With the advent of the latest clinical practice PC guidelines highlighting the importance of DDR mutation screening, and ongoing mCRPC clinical trials evaluating DDR mutation-targeted drugs, future larger epidemiological studies are warranted to further quantify the international burden of DDR mutations in PC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-616
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • DNA damage response
  • genes
  • germline
  • mutations
  • prostate cancer
  • somatic
  • RISK
  • MEN
  • ATM

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