High methylation levels of PCDH10 predict poor prognosis in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Maria Cristina Curia, Fabiana Fantini, Rossano Lattanzio, Francesca Tavano, Francesco Di Mola, Mauro Piantelli, Pasquale Battista, Pierluigi Di Sebastiano, Alessandro Cama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal malignancies and is not a clinically homogeneous disease, but subsets of patients with distinct prognosis and response to therapy can be identified by genome-wide analyses. Mutations in major PDAC driver genes were associated with poor survival. By bioinformatics analysis, we identified protocadherins among the most frequently mutated genes in PDAC suggesting an important role of these genes in the biology of this tumor. Promoter methylation of protocadherins has been suggested as a prognostic marker in different tumors, but in PDAC this epigenetic modification has not been extensively studied. Thus, we evaluated whether promoter methylation of three frequently mutated protocadherins, PCDHAC2, PCDHGC5 and PCDH10 could be used as survival predictors in PDAC patients. Methods: DNA extracted from 23 PDACs and adjacent non-neoplastic pancreatic tissues were bisulfite treated. Combined Bisulfite Restriction Analysis (COBRA) coupled to denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (dHPLC) detection and bisulfite genomic sequencing (BGS) were used to determine the presence of methylated CpG dinucleotides in the promoter amplicons analyzed. Results: In an exploratory analysis, two protocadherins showed the same pattern of CpG methylation in PDAC and adjacent non-neoplastic pancreatic tissues: lack of methylation for PCDHAC2, complete methylation for PCDHGC5. Conversely, the third protocadherin analyzed, PCDH10, showed a variable degree of CpG methylation in PDAC and absence of methylation in adjacent non-neoplastic pancreatic tissues. At Kaplan-Meier analysis, high levels of PCDH10 methylation defined according to the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis were significantly associated with worse progression-free survival (PFS) rates (P = 0.008), but not with overall survival (OS). High levels of PCDH10 methylation were a prognostic factor influencing PFS (HR = 4.0: 95% CI, 1.3-12.3; P = 0.016), but not the OS. Conclusions: In this study, we show for the first time that the methylation status of PCDH10 can predict prognosis in PDAC patients with a significant impact on the outcome in terms of progression-free survival. High levels of PCDH10 promoter methylation could be useful to identify patients at high risk of disease progression, contributing to a more accurate stratification of PDAC patients for personalized clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number452
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 14 2019


  • Combined bisulfite restriction analysis (COBRA)
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • mRNA expression
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • PCDH10
  • Protocadherins
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'High methylation levels of PCDH10 predict poor prognosis in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this