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BACKGROUND: The majority of anal cancers (84-95%) are driven by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV-positive tumours show significantly better responses to chemo-radiotherapy when compared with HPV-negative tumours. HPV infection is linked to alterations in DNA damage response proteins, including MRE11. MRE11 is a potential predictive biomarker for response to radiotherapy in muscle-invasive bladder cancer and may hold predictive power in other cancers. METHODS: Using a previously reported cohort, we evaluated the levels of MRE11 in anal cancer and assessed its predictive value in this disease. RESULTS: We found no association between the level of MRE11 and relapse-free survival following chemo-radiotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: MRE11 has no predictive value in the analysis of relapse-free survival after chemo-radiotherapy in anal cancer and does not add to the prognostic value of p16 and tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte scores. Further investigation into the role of DNA repair proteins in anal cancer is required.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





322 - 325


Anus Neoplasms, Biomarkers, Tumor, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Chemoradiotherapy, Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16, DNA-Binding Proteins, Disease-Free Survival, Female, Humans, MRE11 Homologue Protein, Male, Predictive Value of Tests, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53