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Method for predicting the sensitivity of cancer patients to specific drugs

cancerCancrocfDNAChemioterapiaChemotherapyddPCRmedicina di precisionemolecular assayOncologiaoncologyprecision medicine


The identification of biomarkers that can predict the response to drug treatment is an urgent need in the field of precision medicine and oncology. The proposed technology consists of a molecular assay that allows the prediction and identification of which colorectal cancer-patients could benefit from a specific type of treatment.

Technical features

The lack of expression of RAD51C is able to confer a marked sensitivity to PARPi, ATRi, SN-38 (active metabolite of irinotecan) and oxaliplatin. The proposed solution consists of a molecular assay designed for the identification of methylated RAD51C as a biomarker of response to the aforementioned drugs in patients affected by colorectal cancer. Furthermore, it is not excluded that the use of the same assay may be of benefit and interest to other types of tumors, in particular those characterized by defects in the homologous recombination system such as breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancer. The asset is based on the droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) which has the advantage of being fast, sensitive and executable even on a large scale compared to other procedures based mainly on sequencing. Furthermore, the ddPCR allow starting not only with good quality genomic DNA (gDNA), but also with cell-free DNA (cfDNA) which is naturally very fragmented and poorly concentrated.

Possible Applications

  • Colorectal Cancer Treatment;
  • Treatment with PARPi;
  • Treatment with ATRi;
  • Treatment with irinotecan;
  • Treatment with oxaliplatin.


  • High-throughput ddPCR;
  • Fast, sensitive and executable on a large scale compared to sequencing procedures;
  • It can be used for genomic DNA but also for cell-free DNA.