Novel methylated DNA markers in the surveillance of colorectal cancer recurrence

Hao Xie, Douglas W. Mahoney, Patrick H. Foote, Kelli N. Burger, Karen A. Doering, William R. Taylor, Sara S. Then, Xiaoming Cao, Maria McGlinch, Calise K. Berger, Tsung Teh Wu, Joleen M. Hubbard, Hatim T. Allawi, Michael W. Kaiser, Graham P. Lidgard, David A. Ahlquist, John B. Kisiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: We aimed to assess the concordance of colorectal cancer–associated methylated DNA markers (MDM) in primary and metastatic colorectal cancer for feasibility in detection of distantly recurrent/metastatic colorectal cancer in plasma. Experimental Design: A panel of previously discovered colorectal cancer–associated MDMs was selected. MDMs from primary and paired metastatic colorectal cancer tissue were assayed with quantitative methylation-specific PCR. Plasma MDMs were measured blindly by target enrichment long-probe quantitative-amplified signal assays. Random forest modeling was used to derive a prediction algorithm of MDMs in archival plasma samples from primary colorectal cancer cases. This algorithm was validated in prospectively collected plasma samples from recurrent colorectal cancer cases. The accuracy of the algorithm was summarized as sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve (AUC). Results: Of the 14 selected MDMs, the concordance between primary and metastatic tissue was considered moderate or higher for 12 MDMs (86%). At a preset specificity of 95% (91%–98%), a panel of 13 MDMs, in plasma from 97 colorectal cancer cases and 200 controls, detected stage IV colorectal cancer with 100% (80%–100%) sensitivity and all stages of colorectal cancer with an AUC of 0.91 (0.87–0.95), significantly higher than carcinoembryonic antigen [AUC, 0.72 (0.65–0.79)]. This panel, in plasma from 40 cases and 60 healthy controls, detected recurrent/metastatic colorectal cancer with 90% (76%–97%) sensitivity, 90% (79%–96%) specificity, and an AUC of 0.96 (0.92–1.00). The panel was positive in 0.30 (0.19–0.43) of 60 patients with no evidence of disease in postoperative patients with colorectal cancer. Conclusions: Plasma assay of novel colorectal cancer–associated MDMs can reliably detect both primary colorectal cancer and distantly recurrent colorectal cancer with promising accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-149
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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