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Clin Cancer Res. 2002 Jul;8(7):2246-52.

Methylation microarray analysis of late-stage ovarian carcinomas distinguishes progression-free survival in patients and identifies candidate epigenetic markers.

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Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65203, USA.



The purpose of this study was to profile methylation alterations of CpG islands in ovarian tumors and to identify candidate markers for diagnosis and prognosis of the disease.


A global analysis of DNA methylation using a novel microarray approach called differential methylation hybridization was performed on 19 patients with stage III and IV ovarian carcinomas.


Hierarchical clustering identified two groups of patients with distinct methylation profiles. Tumors from group 1 contained high levels of concurrent methylation, whereas group 2 tumors had lower tumor methylation levels. The duration of progression-free survival after chemotherapy was significantly shorter for patients in group 1 compared with group 2 (P < 0.001). Differential methylation in tumors was independently confirmed by methylation-specific PCR.


The data suggest that a higher degree of CpG island methylation is associated with early disease recurrence after chemotherapy. The differential methylation hybridization assay also identified a select group of CpG island loci that are potentially useful as epigenetic markers for predicting treatment outcome in ovarian cancer patients.

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