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NTRK3 Promoter Methylation: Predictive Marker for Survival in Colorectal Cancer?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, August 23, 2021

Research presented in the Journal of Translational Medicine suggests that the methylation of the neurotrophic tropomyosin receptor kinase (NTRK) gene may prove to have prognostic value in treating colorectal cancer. Prognostic models were found to perform better following the incorporation of NTRK3 promoter methylation.

“We identified the cg27034819–cg11525479 region within [the] NTRK3 promoter as the most promising predictive marker for survival outcome, and it was validated in our [colorectal cancer] cohort and 23 [The Cancer Genome Atlas] cohorts including a colon cancer cohort, a rectal cancer cohort, and 21 cohorts of other tumor types,” concluded Huichuan Yu, MD, PhD, of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, and colleagues.

The analysis included a retrospectively collected cohort of patients with colorectal cancer (n = 229) as well as those with additional tumor types sourced from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Across six colorectal cancer cohorts, methylation of the NTRK gene promoter was more common than in normal mucosa, possibly indicating the inhibition of gene expression. In addition to the prognostic value of the NTRK3 cg27034819–cg11525479 region, NTRK3 promoter methylation was also found to be predictive for survival outcomes in the validation cohort (P =  .004). This provided the basis for the creation of a predictive nomogram with a C-index of 0.705.

The prognostic models currently in place experienced improved performance following the introduction of NTRK3 promoter methylation, according to the study authors. Methylation of NTRK3 promoter was also found to be a predictive factor for survival outcomes in pancreatic cancer, glioblastoma, and stomach adenocarcinoma.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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