Prognostic significance of promoter CpG island methylation of obesity-related genes in patients with nonmetastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Greater than 40% of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cases in the United States are attributed to excessive body weight. Moreover, obesity also may be linked to RCC prognosis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these associations are unclear. In the current study, the authors evaluated the role of promoter methylation in obesity-related genes in RCC tumorigenesis and disease recurrence.

Paired tumors (TU) and normal adjacent (N-Adj) tissues from 240 newly diagnosed and previously untreated white patients with RCC were examined. For the discovery phase, 63 RCC pairs were analyzed. An additional 177 RCC pairs were evaluated for validation. Pyrosequencing was used to determine CpG methylation in 20 candidate obesity-related genes. An independent data set from The Cancer Genome Atlas also was analyzed for functional validation. The association between methylation and disease recurrence was analyzed using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.

Methylation in neuropeptide Y (NPY), leptin (LEP), and leptin receptor (LEPR) was significantly higher in TU compared with N-Adj tissues (P<.0001) in both the discovery and validation groups. High methylation in LEPR was associated with an increased risk of disease recurrence (hazard ratio, 3.15; 95% confidence interval, 1.23-8.07 [P = .02]). Patients with high methylation in LEPR had a shorter recurrence-free survival compared with patients in the low-methylation group (log-rank P = 2.25 × 10-3 ). In addition, high LEPR methylation in TU was associated with more advanced features (P≤.05). Consistent with the findings of the current study, lower LEPR expression in TU compared with N-Adj tissues (P = 1.00 × 10-3 ) was found in data from The Cancer Genome Atlas.

Somatic alterations of promoter methylation in the NPY, LEP, and LEPR genes are involved in RCC tumorigenesis. Furthermore, LEPR methylation appears to be associated with RCC recurrence. Future research to elucidate the biology underlying this association is warranted. Cancer 2017;123:3617-27. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Cancer. 2017 May 23 [Epub]

Julia Mendoza-Pérez, Jian Gu, Luis A Herrera, Nizar M Tannir, Shanyu Zhang, Surena Matin, Jose A Karam, Christopher G Wood, Xifeng Wu

Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas., Cancer Biomedical Research Unit, National Cancer Institute, Institute of Biomedical Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico., Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas., Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.