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Methylation patterns in serum DNA for early identification of disseminated breast cancer

Widschwendter, M; Evans, I; Jones, A; Ghazali, S; Reisel, D; Ryan, A; Gentry-Maharaj, A; ... Lempiainen, H; + view all (2017) Methylation patterns in serum DNA for early identification of disseminated breast cancer. Genome Medicine , 9 , Article 115. 10.1186/s13073-017-0499-9. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Monitoring treatment and early detection of fatal breast cancer (BC) remains a major unmet need. Aberrant circulating DNA methylation (DNAme) patterns are likely to provide a highly specific cancer signal. We hypothesized that cell-free DNAme markers could indicate disseminated breast cancer, even in the presence of substantial quantities of background DNA. METHODS: We used reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) of 31 tissues and established serum assays based on ultra-high coverage bisulfite sequencing in two independent prospective serum sets (n = 110). The clinical use of one specific region, EFC#93, was validated in 419 patients (in both pre- and post-adjuvant chemotherapy samples) from SUCCESS (Simultaneous Study of Gemcitabine-Docetaxel Combination adjuvant treatment, as well as Extended Bisphosphonate and Surveillance-Trial) and 925 women (pre-diagnosis) from the UKCTOCS (UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening) population cohort, with overall survival and occurrence of incident breast cancer (which will or will not lead to death), respectively, as primary endpoints. RESULTS: A total of 18 BC specific DNAme patterns were discovered in tissue, of which the top six were further tested in serum. The best candidate, EFC#93, was validated for clinical use. EFC#93 was an independent poor prognostic marker in pre-chemotherapy samples (hazard ratio [HR] for death = 7.689) and superior to circulating tumor cells (CTCs) (HR for death = 5.681). More than 70% of patients with both CTCs and EFC#93 serum DNAme positivity in their pre-chemotherapy samples relapsed within five years. EFC#93-positive disseminated disease in post-chemotherapy samples seems to respond to anti-hormonal treatment. The presence of EFC#93 serum DNAme identified 42.9% and 25% of women who were diagnosed with a fatal BC within 3–6 and 6–12 months of sample donation, respectively, with a specificity of 88%. The sensitivity with respect to detecting fatal BC was ~ 4-fold higher compared to non-fatal BC. CONCLUSIONS: Detection of EFC#93 serum DNAme patterns offers a new tool for early diagnosis and management of disseminated breast cancers. Clinical trials are required to assess whether EFC#93-positive women in the absence of radiological detectable breast cancers will benefit from anti-hormonal treatment before the breast lesions become clinically apparent.

Type: Article
Title: Methylation patterns in serum DNA for early identification of disseminated breast cancer
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13073-017-0499-9
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-017-0499-9
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Cell-free DNA, DNA methylation, Serum DNA, Breast cancer, Early diagnosis, Personalized treatment, CIRCULATING TUMOR-CELLS, POOLED ANALYSIS, PLASMA DNA, MARKER, MAMMOGRAPHY, PROGRESSION, BIOMARKERS, PROGNOSIS, SURVIVAL, THERAPY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Womens Cancer
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041186
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