Prognostic role of immunohistochemical analysis of 5 mc in myelodysplastic syndromes

Antonella Poloni, Gaia Goteri, Antonio Zizzi, Federica Serrani, Silvia Trappolini, Benedetta Costantini, Marianna Mariani, Attilio Olivieri, Massimo Catarini, Riccardo Centurioni, Francesco Alesiani, Federica Giantomassi, Daniela Stramazzotti, Simona Biagetti, Simona Alfonsi, Eleonora Berardinelli, Pietro Leoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Aberrant DNA methylation at CpG islands within promoters is increasingly recognised as a common event in human cancers and has been associated with the silencing of important tumour suppressor genes. Epigenetic therapy using hypomethylating agents has demonstrated clinical effectiveness; the drugs azacitidine and decitabine have been approved for the treatment of MDS. Method: We investigated the association between global DNA methylation and clinical outcome in MDS. We evaluated 134 MDS bone marrow trephine biopsies (BMTB) by immunohistochemistry and compared the results with those from an age-matched group of normal BMTB. Immunohistochemistry was performed on paraffin-embedded sections using the anti-5-methylcytosine (5mc) antibody. Results: Our results showed that the 5mc immunostaining score (M-score) of patients with MDS was higher than those of normal controls and that overall survival significantly correlated with global DNA methylation, age and IPSS score. Therefore, we found that patients with high levels of methylation had a shorter median overall survival (OS) compared with patients with lower levels. These immunohistochemistry results were confirmed by analysing global DNA methylation on LINE-1 sequences using the COBRA method and pyrosequencing. Conclusion: This study reports that global DNA methylation detected by immunohistochemistry predicts OS in MDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


  • DNA methylation
  • Hypomethylating agents
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Pyrosequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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