A five-CpG DNA methylation score to predict metastatic-lethal outcomes in men treated with radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer

Shanshan Zhao, Amy Leonardson, Milan S. Geybels, Andrew S. McDaniel, Ming Yu, Suzanne Kolb, Hong Zong, Kelly Carter, Javed Siddiqui, Anqi Cheng, Jonathan L. Wright, Colin C. Pritchard, Raymond Lance, Dean Troyer, Jian Bing Fan, Elaine A. Ostrander, James Y. Dai, Scott A. Tomlins, Ziding Feng, Janet L. Stanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Prognostic biomarkers for localized prostate cancer (PCa) could improve personalized medicine. Our group previously identified a panel of differentially methylated CpGs in primary tumor tissue that predict disease aggressiveness, and here we further validate these biomarkers. Methods: Pyrosequencing was used to assess CpG methylation of eight biomarkers previously identified using the HumanMethylation450 array; CpGs with strongly correlated (r >0.70) results were considered technically validated. Logistic regression incorporating the validated CpGs and Gleason sum was used to define and lock a final model to stratify men with metastatic-lethal versus non-recurrent PCa in a training dataset. Coefficients from the final model were then used to construct a DNA methylation score, which was evaluated by logistic regression and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analyses in an independent testing dataset. Results: Five CpGs were technically validated and all were retained (P < 0.05) in the final model. The 5-CpG and Gleason sum coefficients were used to calculate a methylation score, which was higher in men with metastatic-lethal progression (P = 6.8 × 10−6) in the testing dataset. For each unit increase in the score there was a four-fold increase in risk of metastatic-lethal events (odds ratio, OR = 4.0, 95%CI = 1.8–14.3). At 95% specificity, sensitivity was 74% for the score compared to 53% for Gleason sum alone. The score demonstrated better prediction performance (AUC = 0.91; pAUC = 0.037) compared to Gleason sum alone (AUC = 0.87; pAUC = 0.025). Conclusions: The DNA methylation score improved upon Gleason sum for predicting metastatic-lethal progression and holds promise for risk stratification of men with aggressive tumors. This prognostic score warrants further evaluation as a tool for improving patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1084-1091
Number of pages8
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA methylation score
  • biomarker validation
  • metastatic-lethal
  • prognostic
  • prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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