Widespread adoption of primary human papillomavirus (HPV)-based screening has encouraged the search for a triage test which retains high sensitivity for the detection of cervical cancer and precancer, but increases specificity to avoid overtreatment. Methylation analysis of FAM19A4 and miR124-2 genes has shown promise for the triage of high-risk (hr) HPV-positive women. In our study, we assessed the consistency of FAM19A4/miR124-2 methylation analysis in the detection of cervical cancer in a series of 519 invasive cervical carcinomas (n = 314 cervical scrapes, n = 205 tissue specimens) from over 25 countries, using a quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP)-based assay (QIAsure Methylation Test®). Positivity rates stratified per histotype, FIGO stage, hrHPV status, hrHPV genotype, sample type and geographical region were calculated. In total, 510 of the 519 cervical carcinomas (98.3%; 95% CI: 96.7-99.2) tested FAM19A4/miR124-2 methylation-positive. Test positivity was consistent across the different subgroups based on cervical cancer histotype, FIGO stage, hrHPV status, hrHPV genotype, sample type and geographical region. In conclusion, FAM19A4/miR124-2 methylation analysis detects nearly all cervical carcinomas, including rare histotypes and hrHPV-negative carcinomas. These results indicate that a negative FAM19A4/miR124-2 methylation assay result is likely to rule out the presence of cervical cancer.
Keywords: DNA hypermethylation; biomarker; cervical carcinoma; cervical screening; human genome methylation; human papillomavirus.
© 2019 The Authors. International Journal of Cancer published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of UICC.