BACKGROUND: Aberrant DNA methylation at CpG islands within promoters is increasingly recognised as a common event in human cancers and has been associated with the silencing of important tumour suppressor genes. Epigenetic therapy using hypomethylating agents has demonstrated clinical effectiveness; the drugs azacitidine and decitabine have been approved for the treatment of MDS.
METHOD: We investigated the association between global DNA methylation and clinical outcome in MDS. We evaluated 134 MDS bone marrow trephine biopsies (BMTB) by immunohistochemistry and compared the results with those from an age-matched group of normal BMTB. Immunohistochemistry was performed on paraffin-embedded sections using the anti-5-methylcytosine (5mc) antibody.
RESULTS: Our results showed that the 5mc immunostaining score (M-score) of MDS patients was higher than those of normal controls and that overall survival significantly correlated with global DNA methylation, age, and IPSS score. Therefore, we found that patients with high levels of methylation had a shorter median overall survival (OS) compared to patients with lower levels. These immunohistochemistry results were confirmed by analysing global DNA methylation on LINE-1 sequences using the COBRA method and pyrosequencing.
CONCLUSION: This study reports that global DNA methylation detected by immunohistochemistry predicts OS in MDS. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.