Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing

Cancer treatment for people with RAD51C mutations

People with an inherited RAD51C mutation who have been diagnosed with cancer may have different treatment options than people without a mutation. To learn more about standard of care treatment options for specific types of cancer, visit our section on Cancer Treatment by Cancer Type

If you have an inherited RAD51C mutation, have been diagnosed with cancer and any of the situations below apply to you, you may wish to speak to your doctor about your medical options. You may also consider enrolling in a clinical trial studying which treatments work best for people with an inherited RAD51C mutation. 


PARP inhibitors

PARP inhibitors are a type of targeted therapy that work by blocking a protein used to repair damaged DNA. They were initially developed to treat cancers in people with an inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Since then, research and additional FDA approvals have expanded use of PARP inhibitors to more situations. People with a RAD51C mutation who have been diagnosed with cancer may want to ask their doctor about PARP inhibitor therapy. 

PARP inhibitors for metastatic prostate cancer

The PARP inhibitor, Lynparza (olaparib) has received FDA-approval to treat men with metastatic, castration-resistent prostate cancer, who have a mutation in RAD51C or another gene linked to a certain type of DNA damage repair. Lynparza may be used to treat men whose prostate cancer has progressed on enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone (Zytiga). 

PARP inhibitors for advanced ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer

Several PARP inhibitors have been approved to treat ovarian cancers at different stages of the disease. In some situations, a tumor biomarker test known as an HRD test ("hemologous recombination deficiency") can help women with advanced ovarian cancer learn if they may benefit from a PARP inhibitor.

  • Advanced cancer which has recurred after third-line treatment:
    • HRD testing can help women with advanced ovarian cancer which has recurred after three lines of treatment learn if they may benefit from the PARP inhibitor Zejula (niraparib).
  • Maintenance therapy after first-line treatment
    • HRD testing can help women with advanced ovarian cancer learn if they may benefit from the PARP inhibitor Lynparza in combination with bevacizumab as maintenance therapy after first-line platinum chemotherapy.
    • Zejula is approved for maintenance therapy in women with advanced ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who had a complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Zejula for maintenance therapy does not require an HRD test. 
  • Maintenance therapy after treatment of recurrent cancer
    • Zejula, Rubraca (rucaparib) and Lynparza are all approved for maintenance therapy in women with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum based chemotherapy. In this setting, none of these drugs requires an HRD test. 

If you are a person with a RAD51C mutation, you can find peer support through the following resources:


The majority of public and private health insurance plans are required to cover cancer diagnosis and treatment; copays, coinsurance and deductibles often apply. Patient costs and coverage for specific doctors, facilities or treatments may vary based on your health plan. If your insurance company denies your claim, your health care provider can help you write an appeal letter, or you can use one of our sample appeal letters. Visit our section on Insurance and Paying for Care: Treatment for more information.


The following cancer treatment studies are enrolling and may be of interest to people with a RAD51C mutation. 

Advanced solid tumors of any type 

Breast cancer

  • NCT02401347: Talazoparib Beyond BRCA (TBB) Trial. People with an RAD51C mutation who have metastatic triple-negative breast cancer may qualify for this study. Talazoparib (Talzenna) is a type of treatment known as a PARP inhibitor, which is approved for metastatic breast cancer in people with a BRCA mutation. This study is looking at how well talazoparib works in people with other mutations.

Prostate cancer

Visit our Research Search and Enroll Tool to find additional cancer treatment studies. 


Last updated September 23, 2021