A four-gene promoter methylation marker panel consisting of GREM1, NEURL, LAD1, and NEFH predicts survival of clear cell renal cell cancer patients

Iris J.H. Van Vlodrop, Sophie C. Joosten, Tim De Meyer, Kim M. Smits, Leander Van Neste, Veerle Melotte, Marcella M.L.L. Baldewijns, Leo J. Schouten, Piet A. Van Den Brandt, Jana Jeschke, Joo Mi Yi, Kornel E. Schuebel, Nita Ahuja, James G. Herman, Maureen J. Aarts, Fred T. Bosman, Wim Van Criekinge, Manon Van Engeland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: The currently used prognostic models for patients with nonmetastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) are based on clinicopathologic features and might be improved by adding molecular markers. Epigenetic alterations occur frequently in ccRCC and are promising biomarkers. The aim of this study is to identify prognostic promoter methylation markers for ccRCC. Experimental Design:Weintegrated data generated by massive parallel sequencing of methyl-binding domain enriched DNA and microarray-based RNA expression profiling of 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine-treated ccRCC cell lines to comprehensively characterize the ccRCC methylome. A selection of the identified methylation markers was evaluated in two independent series of primary ccRCC (n = 150 and n = 185) by methylation-specific PCR. Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank tests were used to estimate cause-specific survival. HRs and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) were assessed using Cox proportional hazard models. To assess the predictive capacity and fit of models combining several methylation markers, HarrellC statistic and the Akaike Information Criterion were used. Results: We identified four methylation markers, that is, GREM1, NEURL, LAD1, and NEFH, that individually predicted prognosis of patients with ccRCC. The four markers combined were associated with poorer survival in two independent patient series (HR, 3.64; 95% CI, 1.02-13.00 and HR, 7.54; 95% CI, 2.68-21.19). These findings were confirmed in a third series of ccRCC cases from The Cancer Genome Atlas (HR, 3.60; 95% CI, 2.02-6.40). Conclusions: A four-gene promoter methylation marker panel consisting of GREM1, NEURL, LAD1, and NEFH predicts outcome of patients with ccRCC and might be used to improve current prognostic models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2006-2018
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

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