Purpose: The aim of the study was to analyze the methylation status of the promoter regions of p15 and p16 and to assess the prognostic significance of promoter hypermethylation in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).
Experimental design: DLBCL was diagnosed by morphology and immunohistochemical analysis according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. The methylation status of CpG islands in the p15 and p16 promoters was analyzed by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction in 49 DLBCLs.
Results: Hypermethylation of the p15 and p16 promoters was detected in 20 (41%) and 22 (45%) of the 49 DLBCLs, respectively. Among all patients with DLBCL, there was no significant difference in the overall survival between those with hypermethylated and unmethylated p15 (P=0.442) or between those with hypermethylated and unmethylated p16 (P=0.468). Therefore, methylation was analyzed in combination with evaluation of clinical features using the international prognostic index (IPI). In the high-intermediate-risk and high-risk groups, patients with hypermethylated p16 had significantly lower survival rates than those of patients in the same risk group with unmethylated p16 (P=0.010).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that hypermethylation of the p16 promoter indicates a poor prognosis in high-intermediate-risk and high-risk DLBCL patients, and may be a useful marker for selection of appropriate treatment when used in conjunction with the IPI.