Prognostic and predictive roles of MGMT protein expression and promoter methylation in sporadic pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms.

Research paper by Anja Maria AM Schmitt, Marianne M Pavel, Thomas T Rudolph, Heather H Dawson, Annika A Blank, Paul P Komminoth, Erik E Vassella, Aurel A Perren

Indexed on: 12 Jul '14Published on: 12 Jul '14Published in: Neuroendocrinology


O(6)-methylguanine-methyltransferase (MGMT) is an important enzyme of DNA repair. MGMT promoter methylation is detectable in a subset of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNEN). A subset of pNEN responds to the alkylating agent temozolomide (TMZ). We wanted to correlate MGMT promoter methylation with MGMT protein loss in pNEN, correlate the findings with clinico-pathological data and determine the role of MGMT to predict response to TMZ chemotherapy.We analysed a well-characterized collective of 141 resected pNEN with median follow-up of 83 months for MGMT protein expression and promoter methylation using methylation-specific PCR (MSP). A second collective of 10 metastasized, pretreated and progressive patients receiving TMZ was used to examine the predictive role of MGMT by determining protein expression and promoter methylation using primer extension-based quantitative PCR.In both collectives there was no correlation between MGMT protein expression and promoter methylation. Loss of MGMT protein was associated with an adverse outcome, this prognostic value, however, was not independent from grade and stage in multivariate analysis. Promoter hypermethylation was significantly associated with response to TMZ.Loss of MGMT protein expression is associated with adverse outcome in a surgical series of pNET. MGMT promoter methylation could be a predictive marker for TMZ chemotherapy in pNEN, but further, favourably prospective studies will be needed to confirm this result and before this observation can influence clinical routine.

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