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Diacylglycerol kinase alpha (DGKA) as a novel epigenetic marker for developing fibrosis after radiotherapy

Organization name

DKFZ Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum



Radiation-induced fibrosis is a common severe side effect of radiation therapy. No reliable marker currently exists for the prediction of radiation-induced fibrosis. Therefore, the present invention reveals a method for estimating the risk of developing radiation-induced fibrosis for use in therapy planning.

The Technology

The risk of developing radiation-induced fibrosis can be estimated by determining the methylation status of several GpC sites in an intragenic region of the DGKA gene. We were able to determine a very high overall prediction accuracy (area under the ROC curve) of 0.77.

Key facts

  • A frequent side effect of radiotherapy is that cancer patients develop fibrosis
  • Fibrosis can be estimated by determination of the methylation status
  • Fibrosis risk after radiation therapy is predicted by analyzing intragenic methylation sites of the DKGA gene

Development Stage

The results were established using an in vitro method, and the statistical analysis is based on a cohort of 40 patients.

Applications and Commercial Opportunity

DKFZ is looking for a commercial partner to further validate and commercialize the test.


The investigators are: Weigel C., Schmezer P., Chang-Claude J., Wenz F., Herskind C., Veldwijk M., Sperk E., and Popanda O.

All inventors are employed either by DKFZ or University of Heidelberg.

Intellectual Property

A European Patent application has been filed.
EP 14002963, priority date: 27.08.2014

Further Information

No other public information is currently available, but further information (speaking with the inventors) is available under a signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA).

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