Peripheral blood DNA Methylation profiles are indicative of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: An Epigenome-wide association study

Department of Epidemiology, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society (Impact Factor: 4.78). 03/2012; 7(3):291-9. DOI: 10.4161/epi.7.3.19134
Source: PubMed


Head and neck cancer accounts for an estimated 47,560 new cases and 11,480 deaths annually in the United States, the majority of which are squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). The overall 5 year survival is approximately 60% and declines with increasing stage at diagnosis, indicating a need for non-invasive tests that facilitate the detection of early disease. DNA methylation is a stable epigenetic modification that is amenable to measurement and readily available in peripheral blood. We used a semi-supervised recursively partitioned mixture model (SS-RPMM) approach to identify novel blood DNA methylation markers of HNSCC using genome-wide methylation array data for peripheral blood samples from 92 HNSCC cases and 92 cancer-free control subjects. To assess the performance of the resultant markers, we constructed receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and calculated the corresponding area under the curve (AUC). Cases and controls were best differentiated by a methylation profile of six CpG loci (associated with FGD4, SERPINF1, WDR39, IL27, HYAL2 and PLEKHA6), with an AUC of 0.73 (95% CI: 0.62-0.82). After adjustment for subject age, gender, smoking, alcohol consumption and HPV16 serostatus, the AUC increased to 0.85 (95% CI: 0.76-0.92). We have identified a novel blood-based methylation profile that is indicative of HNSCC with a high degree of accuracy. This profile demonstrates the potential of DNA methylation measured in blood for development of non-invasive applications for detection of head and neck cancer.

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Available from: Scott M Langevin
    • "There has been intense interest in the interpretation of DNA methylation measures in readily available tissues such as blood. While blood DNA methylation values may provide an important biomarker for outcomes such as cancers (Langevin et al., 2012), it is less clear if they will be useful and relevant indicators of epigenetic changes related to brain and behavior. DNA methylation varies across cell types (Lam et al., 2012; Reinius et al., 2012), and blood cell composition may vary across and within individuals. "
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    ABSTRACT: Since the first report of maternal care effects on DNA methylation in rats, epigenetic modifications of the genome in response to life experience have become the subject of intense focus across many disciplines. Oxytocin receptor expression varies in response to early experience, and both oxytocin signaling and methylation status of the oxytocin receptor gene (Oxtr) in blood have been related to disordered social behavior. It is unknown whether Oxtr methylation varies in response to early life experience, and whether currently employed peripheral measures of Oxtr methylation reflect variation in the brain. We examined the effects of early life rearing experience via natural variation in maternal licking and grooming during the first week of life on behavior, physiology, gene expression, and epigenetic regulation of Oxtr across blood and brain tissues (mononucleocytes, hippocampus, striatum, and hypothalamus). Rats reared by "high" licking-grooming (HL) and "low" licking-grooming (LL) rat dams exhibited differences across study outcomes: LL offspring were more active in behavioral arenas, exhibited lower body mass in adulthood, and showed reduced corticosterone responsivity to a stressor. Oxtr methylation was significantly lower at multiple CpGs in the blood of LL versus HL rats, but no differences were found in the brain. Across groups, Oxtr transcript levels in the hypothalamus were associated with reduced corticosterone secretion in response to stress, congruent with the role of oxytocin signaling in this region. Methylation of specific CpGs at a high or low level was consistent across tissues, especially within the brain. However, individual variation in methylation relative to these global patterns was not consistent across tissues. These results suggest that blood Oxtr methylation may reflect early experience of maternal care, and that Oxtr methylation across tissues is highly concordant for specific CpGs, but that inferences across tissues are not supported for individual variation in Oxtr methylation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Hormones and Behavior
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    • "The HNSCC_PB dataset included DNAm profiles of peripheral whole blood samples for 92 HNSCC patients and 92 normal controls (Langevin et al, 2012). "
    H Li · T Zheng · B Chen · G Hong · W Zhang · T Shi · S Li · L Ao · C Wang · Z Guo
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Although many DNA methylation (DNAm) alterations observed in peripheral whole blood/leukocytes and serum have been considered as potential diagnostic markers for cancer, their origin and their specificity for cancer (e.g., vs inflammatory diseases) remain unclear. Methods: From publicly available datasets, we identified changes in the methylation of blood-borne DNA for multiple cancers and inflammatory diseases. We compared the identified changes with DNAm difference between myeloid and lymphoid cells extracted from two datasets. Results: At least 94.7% of the differentially methylated DNA loci (DM loci) observed in peripheral whole blood/leukocytes and serum of cancer patients overlapped with DM loci that distinguish between myeloid and lymphoid cells and >99.9% of the overlapped DM loci had consistent alteration states (hyper- or hypomethylation) in cancer samples compared to normal controls with those in myeloid cells compared to lymphoid cells (binomial test, P-value <2.2 × 10−16). Similar results were observed for DM loci in peripheral whole blood/leukocytes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel diseases. The direct comparison between DM loci observed in the peripheral whole blood/leukocytes of patients with inflammatory diseases and DM loci observed in the peripheral whole blood of patients with cancer showed that DM loci detected from cancer and inflammatory diseases also had significantly consistent alteration states (binomial test, P-value <2.2 × 10−16). Conclusions: DNAm changes observed in the peripheral whole blood/leukocytes and serum of cancer patients and in the peripheral whole blood/leukocytes of inflammatory disease patients are predominantly determined by the increase of myeloid cells and the decrease of lymphoid cells under the disease conditions, in the sense that their alteration states in disease samples compared to normal controls mainly reflect the DNAm difference between myeloid and lymphoid cells. These analyses highlight the importance of comparing cancer and inflammatory disease directly for the identification of cancer-specific diagnostic biomarkers.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · British Journal of Cancer
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    • "Peripheral blood is a readily available source of genomic DNA that can be used to assess DNA methylation level. There are several reports on blood based methylation biomarkers for various solid tumor types including breast, ovarian, pancreatic, bladder, colorectal and lung cancers [28]. "
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    ABSTRACT: There are no good blood and serum biomarkers for detection, follow up, or prognosis of brain tumors. However, they are needed for more detailed tumor classification, better prognosis estimation and selection of an efficient therapeutic strategy. The aim of this study was to use the epigenetic changes in DNA of peripheral blood samples as a molecular marker to diagnose brain tumors as well as other diseases. We have applied a very precise thin-layer chromatography (TLC) analysis of the global amount of 5-methylcytosine (m5C) in DNA from brain tumors, colon and breast cancer tissues and peripheral blood samples of the same patients. The m5C level in tissue DNA from different brain tumor types, expressed as R coefficient, changes within the range of 0.2-1.6 and overlaps with R of that of blood samples. It negatively correlates with the WHO malignancy grade. The global DNA hypomethylation quantitative measure in blood, demonstrates a big potential for development of non-invasive applications for detection of a low and a high grade brain tumors. We have also used this approach to analyze patients with breast and colon cancers. In all these cases the m5C amount in DNA cancer tissue match with data of blood. This study is the first to demonstrate the potential role of global m5C content in blood DNA for early detection of brain tumors and others diseases. So, genomic DNA hypomethylation is a promising marker for prognosis of various neoplasms as well as other pathologies.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · PLoS ONE
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