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Int J Cancer. 2004 Mar 20;109(2):163-6.

CDH1 and CDH13 methylation in serum is an independent prognostic marker in cervical cancer patients.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Innsbruck University Hospital, Innsbruck, Austria.


Cervical cancer is the principal cause of death due to cancer in women. Five-year survival rate ranges from 15-80%, depending on the extent of the disease. New predictive markers for relapse may increase survival rates by improving treatment of patients at high risk for relapse. The gene products of CDH1 and CDH13, namely E-cadherin and H-cadherin, play a key role in cell-cell adhesion. Inactivation of the cadherin-mediated cell adhesion system, caused by aberrant methylation, is a common finding in human cancers. To test the hypothesis that CDH1/CDH13 methylation is a prognostic marker in cervical cancer we determined the methylation status of CDH1/CDH13 in serum samples from 93 cervical cancer patients. Methylation analysis was carried out using MethyLight. Aberrant methylation of the 5'-region of CDH1 or CDH13 was observed in 43% (40 of 93) of the patients. Cervical cancer patients with unmethylated CDH1/CDH13 in serum samples showed significantly better disease-free survival in univariate and multivariate analysis. Median disease-free survival for CDH1/CDH13 methylation negative and positive patients was 4.3 years and 1.2 years, respectively. Our results suggest that detection of aberrant methylation of CDH1/CDH13 may be of potential use as a marker for selecting cervical cancer patients at high risk for relapse who could benefit from additional systemic therapy.

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