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Increased global Alu hypomethylation affect distant metastatic, dedifferentiated thyroid cancer

18 Feb 2018

Global hypomethylation of Alu appears to increasingly influence distant metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), poorly (P)DTC and anaplastic (A)TC, according to a recent study. This suggests that the epigenetic entity may be involved in thyroid cancer progression and dedifferentiation.

A total of 90 primary thyroid tumours (28 low-risk DTC, 13 paediatric DTC, 33 distant metastatic DTC, seven PDTC and nine ATC), as well as 24 distant metastases and 20 normal thyroid tissues, were included in this analysis.

There was an increasing hypomethylation for distant metastatic DTC (median, 4.0; interquartile range [IQR], 3.1‒6.2) and PDTC/ATC (median, 9.3; IQR, 7.0‒12.1) as compared with normal thyroid tissue (median, 2.75; IQR, 2.30‒3.15). However, hypomethylation did not affect low-risk and paediatric DTC.

Alu hypomethylation was comparable between distant metastases and matched primary tumours. Furthermore, Alu hypomethylation was increased in BRAF compared with RAS mutated tumours.

Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses showed an association between tumour hypomethylation and thyroid cancer-related and all-cause mortality, but such association was lost after adjustment for thyroid cancer risk category.

This study sought to examine the role of global hypomethylation of Alu in thyroid cancer progression and its potential as a prognostic marker. The Quantification of Unmethylated Alu technique was applied to assess global Alu repeats, which were used as a surrogate marker for DNA global hypomethylation. Sanger sequencing determined the mutations in BRAF and RAS.

“Global DNA hypomethylation is a major event for the development and progression of cancer, although the significance in thyroid cancer remains unclear,” researchers said. 

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Most Read Articles
Jackey Suen, 08 Oct 2018

Adding pertuzumab to trastuzumab plus an aromatase inhibitor (AI) improves progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with HER2-positive metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer, the phase II PERTAIN study has shown.

Jackey Suen, 6 days ago

LCL161, an experimental inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) protein antagonist, is shown to improve pathologic complete response (pCR) when added to paclitaxel in selected patients with localized triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in neoadjuvant settings.

01 Dec 2015
Colchine use in male Taiwanese patients with gout is associated with substantially reduced risk for cancer, as shown in a 12-year cohort study.