Identification of prostate cancer specific methylation biomarkers from a multi-cancer analysis

BMC Bioinformatics. 2021 Oct 12;22(1):492. doi: 10.1186/s12859-021-04416-w.


BACKGROUND: Detecting prostate cancer at a non-aggressive stage is the main goal of prostate cancer screening. DNA methylation has been widely used as biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis, however, with low clinical translation rate. By taking advantage of multi-cancer data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), we aimed to identify prostate cancer specific biomarkers which can separate between non-aggressive and aggressive prostate cancer based on DNA methylation patterns.

RESULTS: We performed a comparison analysis of DNA methylation status between normal prostate tissues and prostate adenocarcinoma (PRAD) samples at different Gleason stages. The candidate biomarkers were selected by excluding the biomarkers existing in multiple cancers (pan-cancer) and requiring significant difference between PRAD and other urinary samples. By least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) selection, 8 biomarkers (cg04633600, cg05219445, cg05796128, cg10834205, cg16736826, cg23523811, cg23881697, cg24755931) were identified and in-silico validated by model constructions. First, all 8 biomarkers could separate PRAD at different stages (Gleason 6 vs. Gleason 3 + 4: AUC = 0.63; Gleason 6 vs. Gleason 4 + 3 and 8-10: AUC = 0.87). Second, 5 biomarkers (cg04633600, cg05796128, cg23523811, cg23881697, cg24755931) effectively detected PRAD from normal prostate tissues (AUC ranged from 0.88 to 0.92). Last, 6 biomarkers (cg04633600, cg05219445, cg05796128, cg23523811, cg23881697, cg24755931) completely distinguished PRAD with other urinary samples (AUC = 1).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study identified and in-silico validated a panel of prostate cancer specific DNA methylation biomarkers with diagnosis value.

PMID:34641790 | DOI:10.1186/s12859-021-04416-w