To reveal biologic mechanisms underlying clinical outcome of high-grade serous (HGS) epithelial ovarian carcinomas (EOC), we evaluated the association between tumor epigenetic changes and time to recurrence (TTR). We assessed methylation at approximately 450,000 genome-wide CpGs in tumors of 337 Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) patients. Semi-supervised clustering of discovery (n = 168) and validation (n = 169) sets was used to determine clinically relevant methylation classes. Clustering identified two methylation classes based on 60 informative CpGs, which differed in TTR in the validation set [R vs. L class, P = 2.9 × 10-3, HR = 0.52; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.34-0.80]. Follow-up analyses considered genome-wide tumor mRNA expression (n = 104) and CD8 T-cell infiltration (n = 89) in patient subsets. Hypomethylation of CpGs located in 6p21.3 in the R class associated with cis upregulation of genes enriched in immune response processes (TAP1, PSMB8, PSMB9, HLA-DQB1, HLA-DQB2, HLA-DMA, and HLA-DOA), increased CD8 T-cell tumor infiltration (P = 7.6 × 10-5), and trans-regulation of genes in immune-related pathways (P = 1.6 × 10-32). This is the most comprehensive assessment of clinical outcomes with regard to epithelial ovarian carcinoma tumor methylation to date. Collectively, these results suggest that an epigenetically mediated immune response is a predictor of recurrence and, possibly, treatment response for HGS EOC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research