Epigenetics of Glioblastoma Progression Characterized with Integrated Data

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The DNA methylation patterns found in glioblastoma (GBM) tumors may offer survival hints for individuals with the brain cancer, new research suggests.

As they reported in Nature Medicine yesterday, researchers from the Medical University of Vienna and other centers did reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS)-based methylation profiling on 112 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor samples from well-characterized GBM cases in a national patient registry, including a subset of cases with matched primary and progression tumors.

“[O]ur study establishes a rich and openly available resource characterizing the DNA methylation dynamics of glioblastoma progression in a highly annotated clinical cohort with matched [magnetic resonance imaging] and detailed histopathological data,” co-senior authors Christoph Bock and Adelheid Woehrer, at the Medical University of Vienna, and their colleagues wrote.

In samples collected over time and/or from different tumor sections in each individual, for example, the team saw variable and shifting methylation profiles that appeared to reflect progression events as well as methylation links to the tumor microenvironment. It also detected methylation differences that seemed to coincide with patient outcomes, including lower-than-usual methylation at the promoters of MGMT and Wnt signaling genes in individuals with shorter survival times.

“Given that robust protocols are

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