Epigenetic Silencing of the MLH1 Promoter in Relation to the Development of Gastric Cancer and its use as a Biomarker for Patients with Microsatellite Instability: a Systematic Analysis
Background/Aims: Human mutL homolog 1 ( MLH1 ) promoter methylation was reported in gastric cancer (GC). This study determined the clinicopathological, prognostic, and diagnostic effects of MLH1 promoter methylation in GC. Methods: The combined odds ratio (OR) or hazard ratio (HR) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve (AUC) were analyzed. Results: A total of 4654 GC patients and 3669 non-malignant controls were identified in this systematic analysis. MLH1 promoter methylation was significantly higher in GC samples than in gastric adenomas, chronic gastritis, adjacent tissues, normal gastric mucosa, and normal healthy blood samples, but it exhibited a similar frequency in GC vs. intestinal metaplasia and dysplasia samples. MLH1 promoter methylation correlated with age and microsatellite instability (MSI), but it was not associated with gender, H. pylori infection, smoking, drinking behaviors, pathological histology, tumor differentiation, clinical stage, lymph node status, distant metastasis, or overall survival of GC. MLH1 promoter methylation exhibited a poor sensitivity value (< 0.5) in patients with GC compared with adjacent tissues, gastric adenomas, chronic gastritis, normal gastric mucosa, and normal healthy blood samples. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, and AUC of MLH1 promoter methylation in GC with MSI vs. GC with microsatellite stability (MSS) samples were 0.64, 0.96, and 0.90, respectively. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the detection of MLH1 promoter methylation may be a potential prognostic biomarker for GC patients with MSI.
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