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Prostate. 2017 Apr;77(5):471-478. doi: 10.1002/pros.23289. Epub 2017 Jan 24.

Genome-Wide Measures of Peripheral Blood Dna Methylation and Prostate Cancer Risk in a Prospective Nested Case-Control Study.

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Cancer Epidemiology Centre, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Cancer, Genetics, and Immunology, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia.
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
VLSCI Life Sciences Computation Centre, University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC, Australia.
Université Paris-Saclay, University of Paris-Sud, UVSQ, CESP, INSERM, Villejuif, France.
Gustave Roussy, F-94805, Villejuif, France.
HuGeF, Human Genetics Foundation, Torino, Italy.
TissuPath, Mount Waverley, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.



Global measures of peripheral blood DNA methylation have been associated with risk of some malignancies, including breast, bladder, and gastric cancer. Here, we examined genome-wide measures of peripheral blood DNA methylation in prostate cancer and its non-aggressive and aggressive disease forms.


We used a matched, case-control study of 687 incident prostate cancer samples, nested within a larger prospective cohort study. DNA methylation was measured in pre-diagnostic, peripheral blood samples using the Illumina Infinium HM450K BeadChip. Genome-wide measures of DNA methylation were computed as the median M-value of all CpG sites and according to CpG site location and regulatory function. We used conditional logistic regression to test for associations between genome-wide measures of DNA methylation and risk of prostate cancer and its subtypes, and by time between blood draw and diagnosis.


We observed no associations between the genome-wide measure of DNA methylation based on all CpG sites and risk of prostate cancer or aggressive disease. Risk of non-aggressive disease was associated with higher methylation of CpG islands (OR = 0.80; 95%CI = 0.68-0.94), promoter regions (OR = 0.79; 95%CI = 0.66-0.93), and high density CpG regions (OR = 0.80; 95%CI = 0.68-0.94). Additionally, higher methylation of all CpGs (OR = 0.66; 95%CI = 0.48-0.89), CpG shores (OR = 0.62; 95%CI = 0.45-0.84), and regulatory regions (OR = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.51-0.91) was associated with a reduced risk of overall prostate cancer within 5 years of blood draw but not thereafter.


A reduced risk of overall prostate cancer within 5 years of blood draw and non-aggressive prostate cancer was associated with higher genome-wide methylation of peripheral blood DNA. While these data have no immediate clinical utility, with further work they may provide insight into the early events of prostate carcinogenesis. Prostate 77:471-478, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


DNA methylation; HM450K array; biomarker; peripheral blood; prostate cancer

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