DNA Methylation in Ovarian Tumors-a Comparison Between Fresh Tissue and FFPE Samples

Douglas V N P Oliveira, Julie Hentze, Colm J O'Rourke, Jesper B Andersen, Claus Høgdall, Estrid V Høgdall


Among women, ovarian cancer (OC) is one of the most severe forms of malignancy, accounting for a low 5-year survival rate, of approximately 52%. Early symptoms are unspecific and hence hard to detect. The origin of OC and its subtypes are still unclear, underlying the need for efficient diagnostic biomarkers. In that regard, epigenetics studies are emerging in cancer diagnostics, with encouraging outcomes. Among them, DNA methylation profiling has shown that the origins of the cancer epigenome are associated with molecular factors that are crucial to carcinogenesis, such as regulation of oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Furthermore, those events have been detected in abnormal cell morphology before neoplastic formation, indicating its potential crucial use in the OC diagnostics in the future. Nonetheless, studies are limited, and whether methylation analysis can be performed optimally in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) preparations of OC cases is still elusive. In the present report, we investigated the performance of DNA methylation analysis in FFPE samples, compared to their matched fresh frozen tissue in a small cohort of OC samples. We found that the overall DNA methylation profile in FFPE tissue showed high concordance to that found in fresh frozen tissue, and accounting for the small cohort size, the differentially methylated sites found primarily in frozen tissue, compared to benign samples, were also reproducible in FFPE. Overall, by using samples from our current clinical setting of tissue preservation, these preliminary observations might provide insights into the clinical use of FFPE tissues in methylation studies without critically compromising the outcome.

TidsskriftReproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)3212-3218
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2021


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