A CpG Methylation Signature as a Potential Marker for Early Diagnosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma From HBV-Related Liver Disease Using Multiplex Bisulfite Sequencing.

Li, Kang 
Song, Yi 
Qin, Ling 
Li, Ang 
Jiang, Sanjie 

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BACKGROUND: Aberrant methylation of CpG sites served as an epigenetic marker for building diagnostic, prognostic, and recurrence models for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). METHODS: Using Illumina 450K and EPIC Beadchip, we identified 34 CpG sites in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) DNA that were differentially methylated in early HCC versus HBV-related liver diseases (HBVLD). We employed multiplex bisulfite sequencing (MBS) based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) to measure methylation of 34 CpG sites in PBMC DNA from 654 patients that were divided into a training set (n = 442) and a test set (n = 212). Using the training set, we selected and built a six-CpG-scorer (namely, cg14171514, cg07721852, cg05166871, cg18087306, cg05213896, and cg18772205), applying least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression. We performed multivariable analyses of four candidate risk predictors (namely, six-CpG-scorer, age, sex, and AFP level), using 20 times imputation of missing data, non-linearly transformed, and backwards feature selection with logistic regression. The final model's regression coefficients were calculated according to "Rubin's Rules". The diagnostic accuracy of the model was internally validated with a 10,000 bootstrap validation dataset and then applied to the test set for validation. RESULTS: The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of the model was 0.81 (95% CI, 0.77-0.85) and it showed good calibration and decision curve analysis. Using enhanced bootstrap validation, adjusted C-statistics and adjusted Brier score were 0.809 and 0.199, respectively. The model also showed an AUROC value of 0.84 (95% CI 0.79-0.88) of diagnosis for early HCC in the test set. CONCLUSIONS: Our model based on the six-CpG-scorer was a reliable diagnosis tool for early HCC from HBVLD. The usage of the MBS method can realize large-scale detection of CpG sites in clinical diagnosis of early HCC and benefit the majority of patients.

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CpG methylation, diagnostic model, early HCC, enhanced bootstrap validation, multiplex bisulfite sequencing
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Front Oncol
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Frontiers Media SA