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Prognostic and diagnostic significance of DNA methylation patterns in high grade serous ovarian cancer


OBJECTIVE: Altered DNA methylation patterns hold promise as cancer biomarkers. In this study we selected a panel of genes which are commonly methylated in a variety of cancers to evaluate their potential application as biomarkers for prognosis and diagnosis in high grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC); the most common and lethal subtype of ovarian cancer. METHODS: The methylation patterns of 10 genes (BRCA1, EN1, DLEC1, HOXA9, RASSF1A, GATA4, GATA5, HSULF1, CDH1, SFN) were examined and compared in a cohort of 80 primary HGSOC and 12 benign ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) samples using methylation-specific headloop suppression PCR. RESULTS: The genes were variably methylated in primary HGSOC, with HOXA9 methylation observed in 95% of cases. Most genes were rarely methylated in benign OSE, , with the exception of SFN which was methylated in all HGSOC and benign OSE samples examined. Methylation of DLEC1 was associated with disease recurrence, independent of tumor stage and suboptimal surgical debulking (HR 4.05 (95% CI: 1.3-12.7), p=0.016). A combination of the methylation status of HOXA9 and EN1 could discriminate HGSOC from benign OSE with a sensitivity of 98.8% and a specificity of 91.7%, which increased to 100% sensitivity with no loss of specificity when pre-operative CA125 levels were also incorporated. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides further evidence to support the feasibility of detecting altered DNA methylation patterns as a potential diagnostic and prognostic approach for HGSOC.

Type Journal
Authors Montavon, C.; Gloss, B. S.; Warton, K.; Barton, C. A.; Statham, A. L.; Scurry, J. P.; Tabor, B.; Nguyen, T. V.; Qu, W.; Samimi, G.; Hacker, N. F.; Sutherland, R. L.; Clark, S. J.; O'Brien, P. M.
Published Date 2012-03-01
Published Volume 124
Published Issue 3
Published Pages 582-8
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.11.026
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version