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A major challenge in stage II colorectal carcinoma is to identify patients with increased risk of recurrence. Biomarkers that distinguish patients with poor prognosis from patients without recurrence are currently lacking. This study aims to develop a robust DNA methylation classifier that allows the prediction of recurrence and chemotherapy benefit in patients with stage II colorectal cancer. We performed a genome-wide DNA methylation capture sequencing in 243 stage II colorectal carcinoma samples and identified a relapse-specific DNA methylation signature consisting of eight CpG sites. Two hundred and forty-three patients with stage II CRC were enrolled in this study. In order to select differential methylation sites among recurrence and non-recurrence stage II CRC samples, DNA methylation profiles of 62 tumour samples including 31 recurrence and 31 nonrecurrence samples were analysed using the Agilent SureSelectXT Human Methyl-Seq, a comprehensive target enrichment system to analyse CpG methylation. Pyrosequencing was applied to quantify the methylation level of candidate DNA methylation sites in 243 patients. Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) method was employed to build the disease recurrence prediction classifier. We identified a relapse-related DNA methylation signature consisting of eight CpG sites in stage II CRC by DNA methylation capture sequencing. The classifier showed significantly higher prognostic accuracy than any clinicopathological risk factors. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve showed an association of high-risk score with poor prognosis. In multivariate analysis, the signature was the most significant prognosis factor, with an HR of 2.80 (95% CI, 1.71-4.58, P < 0.001). The signature could identify patients who are suitable candidates for adjuvant chemotherapy. An eight-CpG DNA methylation signature is a reliable prognostic and predictive tool for disease recurrence in patients with stage II CRC. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.


Min Li, Congcong Zhu, Ying Xue, Changhong Miao, Ruiping He, Wei Li, Baolong Zhang, Wenqiang Yu, Xingxu Huang, Minzhi Lv, Ye Xu, Qihong Huang. A DNA methylation signature for the prediction of tumour recurrence in stage II colorectal cancer. British journal of cancer. 2023 May;128(9):1681-1689

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PMID: 36828869

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