Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology

Methylation status of blood leukocyte DNA and risk of gastric cancer in a high-risk Chinese population.

PMID 25086101


To evaluate the relationship between methylation status of blood leukocyte DNA and risk of gastric cancer, a population-based study was conducted in Linqu County. Methylation levels of IGFII and N33 were determined by quantitative methylation-specific PCR. The temporal trend of methylation levels during gastric cancer development was investigated in 133 gastric cancer cases from two cohorts with pre- and/or post-gastric cancer samples. As the references of pre-GCs, 204 intestinal metaplasia (IM) or dysplasia (DYS) subjects who did not progress to gastric cancer during the follow-up period were selected. Meanwhile, 285 subjects with superficial gastritis/chronic atrophic gastritis (SG/CAG) were also selected as controls. IGFII median methylation level was significantly higher in gastric cancer cases than those with SG/CAG (61.47% vs. 49.73%; P < 0.001). IGFII and N33 methylation levels were elevated at least 5 years ahead of clinical gastric cancer diagnosis comparing with SG/CAG (63.38% vs. 49.73% for IGFII, 9.12% vs. 5.70% for N33; all P < 0.001). Furthermore, the frequency of hypermethylated IGFII was markedly increased in IM or DYS subjects who progressed to gastric cancer in contrast to those who remained with IM and DYS, and adjusted ORs were 12.52 [95% confidence interval (CI), 3.81-41.15] for IM and 10.12 (95% CI, 2.68-38.22) for DYS. Similar results were also found for N33 in subjects with IM (OR, 3.77; 95% CI, 1.20-11.86). Our findings suggested that hypermethylated IGFII and N33 in blood leukocyte DNA were associated with risk of gastric cancer in a Chinese population. IGFII and N33 methylation status may be related to gastric carcinogenesis.