Case-control study of candidate gene methylation and adenomatous polyp formation

M. Alexander, J. B. Burch, S. E. Steck, C. F. Chen, T. G. Hurley, P. Cavicchia, N. Shivappa, J. Guess, H. Zhang, Shawn Youngstedt, K. E. Creek, S. Lloyd, K. Jones, J. R. Hébert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and preventable forms of cancer but remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death. Colorectal adenomas are precursor lesions that develop in 70–90 % of CRC cases. Identification of peripheral biomarkers for adenomas would help to enhance screening efforts. This exploratory study examined the methylation status of 20 candidate markers in peripheral blood leukocytes and their association with adenoma formation. Methods: Patients recruited from a local endoscopy clinic provided informed consent and completed an interview to ascertain demographic, lifestyle, and adenoma risk factors. Cases were individuals with a histopathologically confirmed adenoma, and controls included patients with a normal colonoscopy or those with histopathological findings not requiring heightened surveillance (normal biopsy, hyperplastic polyp). Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction was used to characterize candidate gene promoter methylation. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using unconditional multivariable logistic regression to test the hypothesis that candidate gene methylation differed between cases and controls, after adjustment for confounders. Results: Complete data were available for 107 participants; 36 % had adenomas (men 40 %, women 31 %). Hypomethylation of the MINT1 locus (OR 5.3, 95% CI 1.0–28.2) and the PER1 (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1–7.7) and PER3 (OR 11.6, 95% CI 1.6–78.5) clock gene promoters was more common among adenoma cases. While specificity was moderate to high for the three markers (71–97 %), sensitivity was relatively low (18–45 %). Conclusion: Follow-up of these epigenetic markers is suggested to further evaluate their utility for adenoma screening or surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-192
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Adenomatous polyp
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Screening tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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