Aberrant DNA methylation profile in pleural fluid for differential diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma

Masanori Fujii, Nobukazu Fujimoto, Akio Hiraki, Kenichi Gemba, Keisuke Aoe, Shigeki Umemura, Hideki Katayama, Nagio Takigawa, Katsuyuki Kiura, Mitsune Tanimoto, Takumi Kishimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) usually develops pleural fluid. We investigated the value of DNA methylation in the pleural fluid for differentiating MPM from lung cancer (LC). Pleural fluid was collected from 39 patients with MPM, 46 with LC, 25 with benign asbestos pleurisy (BAP) and 30 with other causes. The methylation of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), p16INK4a, ras association domain family 1A (RASSF1A), death-associated protein kinase (DAPK), and retinoic acid receptor β (RARβ) was examined using quantitative real-time PCR. DNA methylation of RASSF1A, p16INK4a, RARβ, MGMT and DAPK was detected in 12 (30.8%), 3 (7.7%), 11 (28.2%), 0 (0.0%) and five patients (12.8%) with MPM, and in 22 (47.8%), 14 (30.4%), 24 (52.2%), 1 (2.2%) and six patients (13.0%) with LC, respectively. The mean methylation ratios of RASSF1A, p16INK4a and RARβ were 0.37 (range 0.0-2.84), 0.11 (0.0-2.67) and 0.44 (0.0-3.32) in MPM, and 0.87 (0.0-3.14), 1.16 (0.0-5.35) and 1.69 (0.0-6.49) in LC, respectively. The methylation ratios for the three genes were significantly higher in LC than in MPM (RASSF1A, P = 0.039; p16INK4a, P = 0.005; and RARβ, P = 0.002). Patients with methylation in at least one gene were 3.51 (95% confidence interval, 1.09-11.34) times more likely to have LC. Hypermethylation seemed no greater with MPM than with BAP. Extended exposure to asbestos (≥30 years) was correlated with an increased methylation frequency (P = 0.020). Hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes in pleural fluid DNA has the potential to be a valuable marker for differentiating MPM from LC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-514
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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