Characterization of Cell Free Plasma Methyl-DNA From Xenografted Tumors to Guide the Selection of Diagnostic Markers for Early-Stage Cancers

Dataset ID Technology Samples
EGAD00001008696 HiSeq X Ten 24

Dataset Description

Circulating cell-free methyl-DNA (mcfDNA) contains promising cancer markers but its low abundance and possibly diverse origin pose challenges toward the accurate diagnosis of early stage cancers. By whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from about 0.5 mL plasma of mice xenografted with human tumors, we obtained and aligned the reads to the human genome, filtered out the mouse and carrier bacterial sequences, and confirmed the tumor origin of methyl-cfDNA (mctDNA) by methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme digestion prior to species-specific PCR. We estimated that human tumor-specific reads (ctDNA) or mctDNA comprised about 0.29 or 0.01%, respectively of the xenograft mouse cfDNA, and about 0.029 or 0.001% of the cfDNA of human early stage cancer patients. Similar WGBS of early stage (0-II, node- and metastasis-free) breast, lung or colorectal cancer samples identified hundreds of specific DMRs (differentially methylated regions) compared to healthy controls. Their association with tumourigenesis was supported by stage-dependent methylation, tumor suppressor or oncogene clusters, and genes also identified in the xenograft samples. Using 20 three-cancer-common and 17 colorectal cancer-specific DMRs in combination (top 0.0018% of the WGBS methylation clusters) was sufficient to distinguish the stage I colorectal cancers from breast and lung cancers and healthy controls. Our data thus confirmed the tumor origin of mctDNA by sequence specificity, and provide a selection threshold for authentic tumor mctDNA markers toward precise diagnosis of early stage cancers solely by top DMRs in combination.

Who controls access to this dataset

For each dataset that requires controlled access, there is a corresponding Data Access Committee (DAC) who determine access permissions. Access to actual data files is not managed by the EGA. If you need to request access to this data set, please contact:

Cell Free Plasma Methyl-DNA Data Access Committee
Contact person: Dr. Jiuyong Xie
Email: jiuyong [dot] xie [at] umanitoba [dot] ca
More details: EGAC00001002626


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