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Breast Cancer Research News

DNA methylation markers predict outcome in node-positive, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer with adjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy

Hartmann and colleagues analyzed DNA methylation in regulatory regions of PITX2 and 60 additional candidate genes using a microarray platform, in 241 breast cancer specimens. The tumours were lymph node-positive, estrogen receptor-positive and HER-2-negative. All patients were treated with anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Using Cox regression analysis, the authors assessed the predictive power of the individual marker and observed that DNA methylation of PITX2 and 14 other genes was correlated with clinical outcome. A four-marker panel including PITX2, BMP4, FGF4, and C20orf55 was found to improve outcome prediction compared with PITX2 alone. This study provides further evidence that a well-defined panel of DNA methylation markers is a useful prognostic indicator in human breast cancer.