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Circulating cell-free nucleosomes as biomarkers for early detection of colorectal cancer

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The aim was to evaluate serum levels of circulating cell-free nucleosomes (ccfn) containing a variety of epigenetic signals including 5-methylcytosine DNA, histone modifications H3K9Me3, H3K9Ac, H3S10PO4, H3K36Me3, H4K20Me3, H4PanAc and pH2AX, nucleosome variant H2AZ and nucleosome adducts with HMGB1 and EZH2 as well as ccfn per se, in addition to develop and evaluate predictor models based on the above mentioned ccfn and including serum levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), in early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC). Blood-samples were collected from 4,105 individuals undergoing colonoscopy. Serum levels of ccfn and CEA were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays platforms. Individual assessment of levels of ccfn showed area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUCROC) = 0.525-0.576 in discrimination of individuals with CRC from individuals with non-malignant findings. Predictor models including ccfn containing 5-methylcytosine DNA, CEA, age and gender improved results (AUCROC = 0.736, sensitivity = 0.37 at specificity = 0.90). Further improvement was achieved in discrimination of individuals with CRC from individuals with clean colorectum (AUCROC = 0.840, sensitivity = 0.57 at specificity = 0.90). The levels of ccfn among patients with CRC appeared to be stage-independent. In conclusion, the performance of the developed predictor models is potentially promising in early detection of CRC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOncotarget
Volume9
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)10247-10258
Number of pages12
ISSN1949-2553
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2017

ID: 52633189