Marianne Bjerre

Epigenetic Analysis of Circulating Tumor DNA in Localized and Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Evaluation of Clinical Biomarker Potential

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Novel and minimally-invasive prostate cancer (PCa)-specific biomarkers are needed to improve diagnosis and risk stratification. Here, we investigated the biomarker potential in localized and de novo metastatic PCa (mPCa) of methylated circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in plasma. Using the Marmal-aid database and in-house datasets, we identified three top candidates specifically hypermethylated in PCa tissue: DOCK2,HAPLN3, and FBXO30 (specificity/sensitivity: 80%-100%/75-94%). These candidates were further analyzed in plasma samples from 36 healthy controls, 61 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), 102 localized PCa, and 65 de novo mPCa patients using methylation-specific droplet digital PCR. Methylated ctDNA for DOCK2/HAPLN3/FBXO30 was generally not detected in healthy controls, BPH patients, nor in patients with localized PCa despite a positive signal in 98%-100% of matched radical prostatectomy tissue samples. However, ctDNA methylation of DOCK2,HAPLN3, and/or FBXO30 was detected in 61.5% (40/65) of de novo mPCa patients and markedly increased in high- compared to low-volume mPCa (89.3% (25/28) vs. 32.1% (10/31), p < 0.001). Moreover, detection of methylated ctDNA was associated with significantly shorter time to progression to metastatic castration resistant PCa, independent of tumor-volume. These results indicate that methylated ctDNA (DOCK2/HAPLN3/FBXO30) may be potentially useful for identification of hormone-naïve mPCa patients who could benefit from intensified treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1362
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • biomarkers, circulating tumor DNA, DNA methylation, liquid biopsy, prostatic neoplasms

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 189994263