BackgroundOvarian cancer has greatly endangered and deteriorated female health conditions worldwide. Refinement of predictive biomarkers could enable patient stratification and help optimize disease management.MethodsRAD51 expression profile, target-disease associations, and fitness scores of RAD51 were analyzed in ovarian cancer using bioinformatic analysis. To further identify its role, gene enrichment analysis was performed, and a regulatory network was constructed. Survival analysis and drug sensitivity assay were performed to evaluate the effect of RAD51 expression on ovarian cancer prognosis. The predictive value of RAD51 was then confirmed in a validation cohort immunohistochemically.ResultsOvarian cancer expressed more RAD51 than normal ovary. RAD51 conferred ovarian cancer dependency and was associated with ovarian cancer. RAD51 had extensive target-disease associations with various diseases, including ovarian cancer. Genes that correlate with and interact with RAD51 were involved in DNA damage repair and drug responsiveness. High RAD51 expression indicated unfavorable survival outcomes and resistance to platinum, taxane, and PARP inhibitors in ovarian cancer. In the validation cohort (126 patients), high RAD51 expression indicated platinum resistance, and platinum-resistant patients expressed more RAD51. Patients with high RAD51 expression had shorter OS (HR = 2.968, P < 0.0001) and poorer PFS (HR = 2.838, P < 0.0001). RAD51 expression level was negatively correlated with patients’ survival length.ConclusionsOvarian cancer had pronounced RAD51 expression and RAD51 conferred ovarian cancer dependency. High RAD51 expression indicated poor survival and decreased drug sensitivity. RAD51 has predictive value in ovarian cancer and can be exploited as a predictive biomarker.