CADM1 and MAL promoter methylation levels in hrHPV-positive cervical scrapes increase proportional to degree and duration of underlying cervical disease

Authors


Correspondence to: R.D.M. Steenbergen, Department of Pathology, Unit of Molecular Pathology, VUmc Cancer Center Amsterdam, P.O. box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Tel.: +31-20-4442331, Fax: +31-20-4442964, E-mail: r.steenbergen@vumc.nl

Abstract

Combined detection of cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1) and T-lymphocyte maturation-associated protein (MAL) promoter methylation in cervical scrapes is a promising triage strategy for high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV)-positive women. Here, CADM1 and MAL DNA methylation levels were analysed in cervical scrapes of hrHPV-positive women with no underlying high-grade disease, high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer. CADM1 and MAL methylation levels in scrapes were first related to CIN-grade of the corresponding biopsy and second to CIN-grade stratified by the presence of ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ cytology as present in the accompanying scrape preceding the cervical biopsy. The scrapes included 167 women with ≤CIN1, 54 with CIN2/3 and 44 with carcinoma. In a separate series of hrHPV-positive scrapes of women with CIN2/3 (n = 48), methylation levels were related to duration of preceding hrHPV infection (PHI; <5 and ≥5 years). Methylation levels were determined by quantitative methylation-specific PCR and normal cytology scrapes of hrHPV-positive women with histologically ≤CIN1 served as reference. CADM1 and MAL methylation levels increased proportional to severity of the underlying lesion, showing an increase of 5.3- and 6.2-fold in CIN2/3, respectively, and 143.5- and 454.9-fold in carcinomas, respectively, compared to the reference. Methylation levels were also elevated in CIN2/3 with a longer duration of PHI (i.e. 11.5- and 13.6-fold, respectively). Moreover, per histological category, methylation levels were higher in accompanying scrapes with abnormal cytology than in scrapes with normal cytology. Concluding, CADM1 and MAL promoter methylation levels in hrHPV-positive cervical scrapes are related to the degree and duration of underlying cervical disease and markedly increased in cervical cancer.

Ancillary