HealthDay News — Elevation in white blood cell BRCA1 promoter methylation is associated with high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), according to a study published online January 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Per E. Lønning, MD, PhD, from the University of Bergen in Norway, and colleagues examined the correlations between normal tissue BRCA1 methylation and ovarian cancer risk in two case-control studies. Data were included from 934 patients and 1,698 control participants in the initial study and from 607 patients and 1,984 control participants in the validation study.
The researchers found that BRCA1 methylation was more frequent in patients with ovarian cancer than controls in the initial study (6.4 versus 4.2%; age-adjusted odds ratio, 1.83). Only patients with HGSOC had elevated methylation (9.6%; odds ratio, 2.91), in contrast to 5.1 and 4.0% of patients with non-serous ovarian cancer and low-grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC), respectively. In the validation study, these results were replicated (methylation-positive status in 9.1 versus 4.3% of patients with HGSOC versus controls [odds ratio, 2.22], and in 4.1 and 2.7% of those with non-serous ovarian cancer and LGSOC, respectively). BRCA1 methylation was detected in 4.1 and 7.0% of young women and newborns, respectively, in separate analyses.
“Constitutively normal tissue BRCA1 promoter methylation is positively associated with risk for HGSOC,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to AstraZeneca.