The Prostate

A DNA hypermethylation profile reveals new potential biomarkers for prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis.

PMID 24961912


DNA hypermethylation has emerged as a novel molecular biomarker for the evaluation of prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis. Defining the specific gene hypermethylation profile for prostate cancer could involve groups of genes that specifically discriminate patients with indolent and aggressive tumors. Genome-wide methylation analysis was performed on 83 tumor and 10 normal prostate samples using the GoldenGate Methylation Cancer Panel I (Illumina, Inc.). All clinical stages of disease were considered. We found 41 genes hypermethylated in more than 20% of the tumors analyzed (P < 0.01). Of these, we newly identified GSTM2 and PENK as being genes that are hypermethylated in prostate cancer and that were simultaneously methylated in 40.9% of the tumors analyzed. We also identified panels of genes that are more frequently methylated in tumor samples with clinico-pathological indicators of poor prognosis: a high Gleason score, elevated Ki-67, and advanced disease. Of these, we found simultaneous hypermethylation of CFTR and HTR1B to be common in patients with a high Gleason score and high Ki-67 levels; this might indicate the population at higher risk of therapeutic failure. The DNA hypermethylation profile was associated with cancer-specific mortality (log-rank test, P = 0.007) and biochemical recurrence-free survival (log-rank test, P = 0.0008). Our findings strongly indicate that epigenetic silencing of GSTM2 and PENK is a common event in prostate cancer that could be used as a molecular marker for prostate cancer diagnosis. In addition, simultaneous HTR1B and CFTR hypermethylation could help discriminate aggressive from indolent prostate tumors.