BRCA1 promoter methylation and clinical outcomes in ovarian cancer: an individual patient data meta-analysis

Kalachand, Roshni D, Stordal, Britta K. ORCID:, Madden, Stephen, Chandler, Benjamin, Cunningham, Julie, Goode, Ellen L., Ruscito, Ilary, Braicu, Elena I., Sehouli, Jalid, Ignatov, Atanas, Yu, Herbert, Katsaros, Dionyssios, Mills, Gordon B., Lu, Karen H., Carey, Mark S., Timms, Kirsten M., Kupryjanczyk, Jolanta, Rzepecka, Iwona K., Podgorska, Agnieszka, McAlpine, Jessica N., Swisher, Elizabeth M., Bernards, Sarah S., O'Riain, Ciaran, O'Toole, Sharon, O'Leary, John J., Bowtell, David D., Thomas, David M., Prieske, Katharina, Joosse, Simon A., Woelber, Linn, Chaudhry, Parvesh, Häfner, Norman, Runnebaum, Ingo B. and Hennessy, Bryan T. (2020) BRCA1 promoter methylation and clinical outcomes in ovarian cancer: an individual patient data meta-analysis. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute . ISSN 1460-2105 [Article] (Accepted/In press) (doi:10.1093/jnci/djaa070)

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BRCA1 methylation has been associated with homologous recombination deficiency, a biomarker of platinum sensitivity. Studies evaluating BRCA1-methylated tubal/ovarian cancer (OC) do not consistently support improved survival following platinum chemotherapy. We examine the characteristics of BRCA1-methylated OC in a meta-analysis of individual participant data.


2636 participants' data across 15 studies were analyzed. BRCA1-methylated tumors were defined according to their original study. Associations between BRCA1 methylation and clinico-pathological characteristics were evaluated. The effects of methylation on overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were examined using mixed-effects models. All statistical tests were two-sided.


430 (16.3%) tumors were BRCA1-methylated. BRCA1 methylation was associated with younger age and advanced-stage high-grade serous OC. There were no survival differences between BRCA1-methylated and non-BRCA1-methylated OC (median PFS = 20.0 vs 18.5 months, HR = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.87-1.16, P=0.98; median OS = 46.6 vs 48.0 months, HR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.87-1.18, P=0.96). Where BRCA1/2 mutations were evaluated (n = 1248), BRCA1 methylation displayed no survival advantage over BRCA1/2 intact (BRCA1/2 wild type non-BRCA1-methylated) OC. Studies used different methods to define BRCA1 methylation. Where BRCA1 methylation was determined using methylation-specific PCR and gel electrophoresis (n = 834), it was associated with improved survival (PFS: HR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.66-0.97, P=0.02; OS: HR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.63-1.00, P=0.05) on mixed-effects modelling.


BRCA1-methylated OC displays similar clinico-pathological features to BRCA1-mutated OC, but is not associated with survival. Heterogeneity within BRCA1 methylation assays influences associations. Refining these assays may better identify cases with silenced BRCA1 function and improved patient outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences > Biomarkers for Cancer group
Item ID: 30782
Notes on copyright: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of the National Cancer Institute following peer review. The version of record Roshni D Kalachand, MBBCh, Britta Stordal, PhD, Stephen Madden, PhD, Benjamin Chandler, BSc, Julie Cunningham, PhD, Ellen L Goode, PhD, Ilary Ruscito, MD, Elena I Braicu, MD, PhD, Jalid Sehouli, MD, PhD, Atanas Ignatov, MD, Herbert Yu, MD, PhD, Dionyssios Katsaros, MD, PhD, Gordon B Mills, MD, PhD, Karen H Lu, MD, Mark S Carey, MD, Kirsten M Timms, PhD, Jolanta Kupryjanczyk, MD, PhD, Iwona K Rzepecka, PhD, Agnieszka Podgorska, MSc, Jessica N McAlpine, MD, Elizabeth M Swisher, MD, Sarah S Bernards, BSc, Ciaran O’Riain, MBBCh, FRCPath, Sharon O’Toole, PhD, John J O’Leary, MD, PhD, David D Bowtell, PhD, David M Thomas, MD, PhD, FRACP, Katharina Prieske, MD, Simon A Joosse, PhD, Linn Woelber, MD, PhD, Parvesh Chaudhry, PhD, Norman Häfner, PhD, Ingo B Runnebaum, MD, MBA, Bryan T Hennessy, MD, BRCA1 promoter methylation and clinical outcomes in ovarian cancer: an individual patient data meta-analysis, JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, , djaa070, is available online at: and on the OUP website
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Depositing User: Britta Stordal
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2020 21:03
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2020 17:39

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