Purpose: Recently, we reported 13 possible cervical cancer-specific methylated biomarkers identified by pharmacologic unmasking microarray in combination with large-genome computational screening. The aim of the present study was to perform an in-depth analysis of the methylation patterns of these 13 candidate genes in cervical neoplasia and to determine their diagnostic relevance.
Experimental Design and Results: Five of the 13 gene promoters (C13ORF18, CCNA1, TFPI2, C1ORF166, and NPTX1) were found to be more frequently methylated in frozen cervical cancer compared with normal cervix specimens. Quantitative methylation analysis for these five markers revealed that both CCNA1 and WORM were methylated in 68 of 97 cervical scrapings from cervical cancer patients and in only 5 and 3 scrapings, respectively, from 103 healthy controls W <0.0005). In cervical scrapings from patients referred with an abnormal Pap smear, CCNA1 and C13ORF18 were methylated in 2 of 43 and 0 of 43 CIN 0 (no cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) and in 1 of 41 and 0 of 41 CIN I, respectively. Furthermore, 8 of 43 CIN II, 22 of 43 CIN III, and 3 of 3 microinvasive cancer patients were positive for both markers. Although sensitivity for CIN II or higher (for both markers 37%) was low, specificity (96% and 100%, respectively) and positive predictive value (92% and 100%, respectively) were high.
Conclusion: Methylation of CCNA1 and C13ORF18 in cervical scrapings is strongly associated with CIN II or higher-grade lesions. Therefore, these markers might be used for direct referral to gynecologists for patients with a methylation-positive scraping. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(11):3000-7)