Outcome prediction and risk assessment by quantitative pyrosequencing methylation analysis of the SFN gene in advanced stage, high-risk, neuroblastic tumor patients.
ABSTRACT The aim of our study was to identify threshold levels of DNA methylation predictive of the outcome to better define the risk group of stage 4 neuroblastic tumor patients. Quantitative pyrosequencing analysis was applied to a training set of 50 stage 4, high risk patients and to a validation cohort of 72 consecutive patients. Stage 4 patients at lower risk and ganglioneuroma patients were included as control groups. Predictive thresholds of methylation were identified by ROC curve analysis. The prognostic end points of the study were the overall and progression-free survival at 60 months. Data were analyzed with the Cox proportional hazard model. In a multivariate model the methylation threshold identified for the SFN gene (14.3.3sigma) distinguished the patients presenting favorable outcome from those with progressing disease, independently from all known predictors (Training set: Overall Survival HR 8.53, p = 0.001; Validation set: HR 4.07, p = 0.008). The level of methylation in the tumors of high-risk patients surviving more than 60 months was comparable to that of tumors derived from lower risk patients and to that of benign ganglioneuroma. Methylation above the threshold level was associated with reduced SFN expression in comparison with samples below the threshold. Quantitative methylation is a promising tool to predict survival in neuroblastic tumor patients. Our results lead to the hypothesis that a subset of patients considered at high risk-but displaying low levels of methylation-could be assigned at a lower risk group.
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The CpG island methylator phenotype is strongly associated with poor survival in neuroblastomas. Neuroblastomas with the CpG island methylator phenotype include almost all neuroblastomas with MYCN amplification, and, even among neuroblastomas without MYCN amplification, have worse prognosis. At the same time, methylation of individual tumor-suppressor genes is also reported to be associated with poor survival. The purpose of this study was to compare the prognostic power of the CpG island methylator phenotype with that of methylation of individual genes. METHODS: Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction was performed for five individual genes (CASP8, EMP3, HOXA9, NR1I2 and CD44) in 140 Japanese and 152 German neuroblastomas. Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank tests were conducted to compare the survival between groups defined by methylation status. RESULTS: Among the five individual genes, only CASP8 methylation had a significant association with poor overall survival both in Japanese (hazard ratio = 3.1; 95% confidence interval = 1.5-6.4; P = 0.002) and German (hazard ratio = 4.8; 95% confidence interval = 2.1-11; P = 0.0002) neuroblastomas. HOXA9 and NR1I2 methylation were associated with poor survival only in German neuroblastomas. On the other hand, the CpG island methylator phenotype had a strong and consistent association in Japanese (hazard ratio = 22; 95% confidence interval = 5.3-93; P = 1.5 × 10(-5)) and German (hazard ratio = 9.5; 95% confidence interval = 3.2-28; P = 4.7 × 10(-5)) neuroblastomas. CONCLUSION: The CpG island methylator phenotype is likely to have stronger prognostic power than methylation of individual genes in neuroblastomas.Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology 04/2013; · 1.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Medulloblastoma (MB) is a malignant pediatric brain tumor arising in the cerebellum consisting of four distinct subgroups: WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4, which exhibit different molecular phenotypes. We studied the expression of Dickkopf (DKK) 1-4 family genes, inhibitors of the Wnt signaling cascade, in MB by screening 355 expression profiles derived from four independent datasets. Upregulation of DKK1, DKK2 and DKK4 mRNA was observed in the WNT subgroup, whereas DKK3 was downregulated in 80% MBs across subgroups with respect to the normal cerebellum (p < 0.001). Since copy number aberrations targeting the DKK3 locus (11p15.3) are rare events, we hypothesized that epigenetic factors could play a role in DKK3 regulation. Accordingly, we studied 77 miRNAs predicting to repress DKK3; however, no significant inverse correlation between miRNA/mRNA expression was observed. Moreover, the low methylation levels in the DKK3 promoters (median: 3%, 5% and 5% for promoter 1, 2 and 3, respectively) excluded the downregulation of gene expression by methylation. On the other hand, the treatment of MB cells with Trichostatin A (TSA), a potent inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDAC), was able to restore both DKK3 mRNA and protein. In conclusion, DKK3 downregulation across all MB subgroups may be due to epigenetic mechanisms, in particular, through chromatin condensation.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2013; 14(4):7492-505. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We have addressed whether inter-individual methylation variation in somatic (white blood cells, WBCs) DNA of ovarian cancer patients provides potential for prognostic and/or pharmacoepigenetic stratification. WBC DNA methylation was analysed by bisulphite pyrosequencing at ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM), estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1), progesterone receptor (PGR), mutL homologue 1 (MLH1), breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA1), secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1), stratifin (SFN), retinoic acid receptor beta (RARB) loci and the repetitive element LINE1 in 880 SCOTROC1 trial patients [paclitaxel (Taxol)-carboplatin versus docetaxel (Taxotere)-carboplatin as primary chemotherapy for stage Ic-IV epithelial ovarian cancer]. We observed no significant associations (P < 0.005, after correction for multiple testing) for progression-free survival (PFS) using test and validation sets. However, we did identify mean SFN methylation associated with PFS (hazard ratio, HR = 1.01 per 1% increase in methylation, q = 0.028); particularly in the paclitaxel (HR = 1.01, q = 0.006), but not in the docetaxel arm in stratified analyses. Furthermore, higher methylation within the ESR1 gene was associated with CA125 response (odds ratio, OR = 1.06, q = 0.04) and with neuropathy (HR = 0.95, q = 0.002), but only in the paclitaxel arm of the trial. This is the first study linking DNA methylation variability in WBC to clinical outcomes for any tumour type; the data generated on novel prognostic and pharmacoepigenetic DNA methylation biomarkers in the circulation now need independent further evaluation.Annals of Oncology 10/2013; · 7.38 Impact Factor