DNA methylation and obesity in survivors of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2019 Jan;58(1):52-59. doi: 10.1002/gcc.22701. Epub 2018 Dec 4.


Because survivors of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are more likely to be obese than unaffected contemporaries, we compared DNA methylation profiles between normal-weight and obese survivors at adiposity-associated CpG sites previously-reported by epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) of body mass index (BMI) in the general population. We selected 96 ALL survivors from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study: 48 obese and 48 normal weight. The Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip was used to compare DNA methylation at 211 loci identified in EWAS of BMI in the general population. Thirty-nine loci were associated (false discovery rate <0.05) with obesity among survivors who only received chemotherapy (n = 49). No loci were significantly associated with obesity among CRT-exposed survivors (n = 47). Our results suggest that previously identified BMI-DNA methylation loci are associated with obesity in ALL survivors who were spared CRT, while no loci were significantly associated with obesity in survivors who received CRT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cancer Survivors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Methylation / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / complications
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Young Adult


  • Neoplasm Proteins