CDKN2A (p16) Promoter Hypermethylation Influences the Outcome in Young Lung Cancer Patients : Diagnostic Molecular Pathology

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00019606-201212000-00002ArticleDiagnostic Molecular PathologyDiagnostic Molecular Pathology© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.21December 2012 p 207–213CDKN2A (p16) Promoter Hypermethylation Influences the Outcome in Young Lung Cancer PatientsOriginal ArticlesBradly, Dawn P. MD*; Gattuso, Paolo MD*; Pool, Mark MD*; Basu, Sanjib PhD†; Liptay, Michael MD‡; Bonomi, Philip MD§; Buckingham, Lela PhD*Departments of *Pathology‡General Surgery§Hematology-Oncology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago†Department of Statistics, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, ILSupplemental Digital Content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website, www.molecularpathology.com.The authors declare no conflict of interest.Reprints: Lela Buckingham, PhD, Department of Pathology, Rush University Medical Center, 711 S. Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60612 (e-mail: [email protected]).AbstractPurpose:Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) occurs most frequently in individuals older than 60 years of age. Currently, no biological indicators associated with NSCLC in younger patients (30 to 60 y) have been identified. To explore epigenetic influences, promoter methylation of selected tumor suppressor genes was analyzed in early-stage NSCLC patients ranging in age from 30 to 87 years at diagnosis.Experimental Design:The analysis was performed on formalin-fixed tumor tissue from 193 surgically treated NSCLC patients (127, older than 60 y; 66, 60 y and younger). Methylation was quantified in p16, MGMT, DAPK, RASSF1, CDH1, LET7-3-a, NORE1(RASSF5), and PTEN promoters by pyrosequencing. p16 protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Outcome, defined by time to recurrence and overall survival, was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis.Results:Promoter methylation levels were generally higher in patients older than 60 years of age than in patients 60 years or younger at diagnosis. Of the genes tested, methylation levels of the p16 promoter showed age-related differences. Although p16 promoter methylation was significantly lower using cut-points of 50 years or younger and 40 years or younger (P=0.001 to 0.012, respectively), p16 protein expression increased with age. Patients 60 years or younger with p16 promoter hypermethylation had a significantly shortened time to recurrence (P=0.002) and a shortened survival time (P=0.011). No effect of p16 hypermethylation was seen in patients older than 60 years.Conclusions:p16 promoter hypermethylation was associated with a worse outcome in patients with age at diagnosis of 60 years or younger, but was not associated with the outcome in the older than 60-year age group. Overall, these data support methylation-dependent and methylation-independent age-related regulation of p16 expression with differential effects on the outcome after surgical resection for early-stage NSCLC.The role of epigenetic inactivation of tumor suppressor genes has been established previously in the carcinogenesis of several organs, including the lung. The term “epigenetic” refers to a heritable change in the pattern of gene expression that is mediated by mechanisms other than alterations in the primary nucleotide. A frequent epigenetic process in normal cells is DNA methylation, primarily addition of a methyl group to cytosine nucleotides by DNA methyltransferase.1,2 Methylation of clusters of cytosine-guanine dinucleotides distributed in gene promoter regions (CpG islands) is a common means of control of transcription. CpG islands can be found in promoters of tumor suppressor genes where their aberrant methylation (hypermethylation) generally correlates with transcriptional silencing and is among the earliest and most frequent alterations in carcinogenesis.2 Aberrant methylation of promoter regions in tumor suppressor genes has been linked to disease course and outcome in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).2,3–7 Several investigators have found cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A [INK4a,CDKN2A (p16)] promoter hypermethylation to be associated with worse survival in stage I adenocarcinoma8–10 and in stage I and II patients.11NSCLC occurs less frequently in younger people (60 y or younger) than in the older population. Currently, there are no biological indicators that accurately differentiate NSCLC in younger patients from those that occur in older patients (older than 60 y). Thus, the aim of the present study was to explore promoter methylation patterns in selected tumor suppressor genes in stage I and II NSCLC patients and determine any associations with outcome as measured by time to recurrence (TTR) and overall survival (OS) in subsets of younger and older patients. The selected tumor suppressor genes, which have previously been reported to have epigenetic associations with the outcome in lung and other cancers, are involved in a variety of cellular functions, including cell division (p16, RASSF1, RASSF5), cell adhesion (CDH1), DNA repair (MGMT), gene expression (LET7-3-a), and survival (DAPK and PTEN). Hypermethylation of these gene promoters has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer,3,12 and smoking,13 and outcome in lung and other cancers.14–17METHODSPatients and Clinical AssessmentThe tumor material used in this study was from stage Ia, Ib, IIa, and IIb surgically treated NSCLC patients. Analysis was performed on tumors from 198 patients [96 adenocarcinoma, 57 squamous cell carcinoma, and 35 other (10 unknown)]. Formalin-fixed (buffered 10% formalin) tumor specimens were obtained from the Department of Pathology, Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, IL). Diagnoses of NSCLC were acquired from pathology reports and histologic evaluation. Using hematoxylin and eosin-stained adjacent sections, samples were microdissected so as to collect tissue that was >60% tumor.Clinical data were established from a chart review. Follow-up included radiographic imaging with histologic verification of recurrence. TTR and OS were measured in months from the date of diagnosis to the time of disease progression or death. Recurrent cases included any recurrence, with follow-up from 1 to 12 years after surgery. All cases were staged according to the tumor, node, metastasis classification criteria (6th ed.).18 This study was approved by the Rush University Medical Center Institutional Review Board with waiver of individual consent.ImmunohistochemistryImmunohistochemistry (IHC) specimens were 5.0-μm sections of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue or sections from cytology cell blocks. Immunostaining was performed with mouse monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig)G2a anti-p16 antibody (Santa Cruz Biotechnology Inc., Santa Cruz, CA) using a 1:200 dilution as described previously.17 The staining frequency and the intensity of all tumor cells on each slide were estimated on scales of 0 to 4 without knowledge of the clinical patient data. Intensity was judged from the background and relative density of staining. For frequency, <1% positive tumor cells per field was scored as 0, 0.1% to 10% as 1, 11% to 35% as 2, 36% to 70% as 3, and >70% as 4. IHC expression was dichotomized into 2 levels: positive (intensity×frequency>4) and negative (intensity×frequency ≤4).Methylation AnalysisPromoter methylation analysis has been described previously.3 DNA was extracted by proteinase K digestion of tumor cells manually microdissected from paraffin-embedded tissue samples. Bisulfite treatment of DNA was performed using the Qiagen Epitech system according to the manufacturer’s protocol. The converted DNA was amplified with HotStarTaq (Qiagen) according to the manufacturer’s protocol using modified primers (see accompanying Supplementary Tables http://links.lww.com/PDM/A32). Amplicons were resolved by agarose electrophoresis to confirm proper amplification and quality of the product. The detection of the C/T polymorphisms that result from polymerase chain reaction amplification of bisulfite-treated DNA was performed by Pyrosequencing (Qiagen) on a PyroMark MD pyrosequencer. For each C/T polymorphism, the relative percent luminescence generated from C (methylated) versus T (unmethylated) nucleotides at potentially methylated cytosine residues of CG dinucleotides is reported. Non-CG cytosines, which should be 100% converted, are included in each sequence to confirm complete bisulfite conversion. This method was used to detect and quantify the degree of cytosine methylation within each sample promoter being investigated. The following previously reported regions (CG or CpG islands) of hypermethylation were analyzed (A of ATG of the start of translation=+1): CDH1, −160 to −121; p16, −64 to −40; LET7, −158 to −116; RASSF1, −57 to −36; RASSF5, −224 to −177; DAPK, −1518 to −1406; MGMT, −37 to −19; PTEN, −1333 to −1276. The output data include site-specific percent methylation for each CpG in the analyzed area and the overall average percent methylation, defined as the average of the CpG levels within the promoter.Statistical AnalysisThe associations between percent methylation and binary covariates were tabulated, and Fisher exact test was used to measure their significance. For purposes of survival analysis, percent methylation levels at each CpG site were divided into 2 classes (yes/no) using site-specific cut-points. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the probability of recurrence and the probability of survival as functions of time. Survival differences among comparator groups were analyzed by the log-rank test. Predictors that were statistically significant or marginally significant in univariate analyses or were deemed to be clinically or biologically important were included as candidate covariates in multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models. Statistical analyses were performed using Version 9.1.3 of the SAS software (SAS Institute, Cary, NC), SPSS version 15, and the statistical software R. All reported P-values are 2 sided. P-values between (0.05 to 0.10), (0.01 to 0.05), and (<0.01) are respectively reported as marginally significant, significant, and strongly significant.RESULTSPatient DemographicsPatient specimens tested in this study include 139 stage Ib and II patients, including 132 cases previously examined3 plus specimens from 54 stage Ia patients. Table 1 illustrates the patient demographics. Patients ranged in age from 30 to 87 years at diagnosis (mean 62.1 y). Among patients whose smoking history was known, 14.6% were never smokers. Sixty-four (33.2%) OS patients had received prior chemotherapy. There was no difference in age at diagnosis with respect to the smoking status (mean age 62.4 vs. 62.9 y for smokers and nonsmokers, respectively). There was no age difference with respect to histology (mean age 63.8 vs. 64.2 y for adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, respectively). χ2 analysis revealed no over-representation of adeno or squamous histology in either age group. Neither were there age differences with respect to the stage (mean age 62.9 vs. 61.3 y for stage I and II, respectively). More patients older than 60 years had received chemotherapy than patients younger than 60 years (P=0.029). The mean age at diagnosis was significantly lower in females than in males (60.6 vs. 64.2 y, P=0.04) and in African Americans compared with whites (60.1 vs. 64.6 y, P=0.02).JOURNAL/dimp/04.03/00019606-201212000-00002/table1-2/v/2021-02-17T200047Z/r/image-tiffPatient DemographicsThe median TTR for this entire study group was 79.1 months (95% confidence interval, 51.3-107 mo). The median OS was 114.0 months (95% confidence interval, 98.8-130 mo). There was no significant difference in TTR or OS with respect to age using cut-points of 40, 50, 55, or 60 years. However, the ≤40-year category was difficult to interpret as there were only 14 patients in that group.Promoter Methylation Status and Age GroupsCytosine methylation was quantified at multiple sites within each promoter. In general, consistent patterns of methylation levels were observed across the promoters for each gene. In particular, methylation levels were relatively high or low at particular sites within the same promoter for the majority of patients. Percent methylation was compared with age dichotomized using cut-points of 40, 50, and 60 years of age at diagnosis. Lower percent methylation was observed in specimens from younger (40 y or younger) than from older (older than 40 y) patients in the PTEN, p16, and DAPK promoters (Fig. 1). The differences were less significant when age at diagnosis cut-points of ≤50, ≤55, or ≤60 years were used (Supplementary Tables http://links.lww.com/PDM/A32). Among the genes tested, the most significant differences in promoter methylation with respect to age were in the p16 promoter.JOURNAL/dimp/04.03/00019606-201212000-00002/figure1-2/v/2021-02-17T200047Z/r/image-jpegPercent methylation at 7 CpG sites in the p16 promoter. Solid lines and filled symbols are levels for the younger groups (40 or younger, diamonds; 50 or younger, triangles; 60 or younger, circles). Dashed lines and open symbols are levels for the younger groups (older than 40, diamonds; older than 50, triangles; older than 60, circles). Further studies were performed on CpG site −59.p16 IHCIHC was performed on 131 analyzable specimens. Expression of p16 protein assessed by IHC was slightly higher in the older patients compared with the younger patients. Frequency×intensity of expression averaged 5.43 in the older than 60 group versus 4.38 in the 60 or younger group, 5.20 in the older than 50 group versus 4.35 in the 50 or younger group, and 5.08 in the older than 40 group versus 4.88 in the 40 or younger group. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed significantly shortened TTR with frequency×intensity <4 in the older than 60 group (median 35.8 mo; 95% confidence interval, 0.0-82.5 mo; vs. 112 mo, 95% confidence interval, 40.5-182 mo; P=0.008), but not in the 60 or younger group (P=0.545).For the entire patient group, lower protein expression was observed with hypermethylation of all p16 CpG sites tested (−64 to −40; A of ATG=+1). Hypermethylation at cytosine position −59 had the greatest influence on protein expression. The protein expression (average frequency×intensity) was 4.04 when the p16 promoter was hypermethylated at site −59 versus 5.28 when the site was not hypermethylated (P=0.20). This marginal correlation was very similar in the older than 60 group (4.28 vs. 5.88; P=0.23). The effect of hypermethylation at CpG site −59 on the outcome was further assessed.Epigenetics and TTR in Older and Younger Age GroupsThe associations of p16 promoter hypermethylation with TTR and OS were examined within different age subgroups. Hypermethylation was defined as >15% methylation at CpG site −59 (see previous section). First, cases were grouped according to age (over 40, 50 or 60; yes/no) and each age subgroup was tested for the effect of p16 promoter hypermethylation on TTR and OS. The association of hypermethylation with TTR and OS for the below and above 60-year subgroups are shown (Figs. 2, 3).JOURNAL/dimp/04.03/00019606-201212000-00002/figure2-2/v/2021-02-17T200047Z/r/image-jpegTime to recurrence (TTR) for non–small cell lung cancer patients grouped as younger (left) or older (right) age at diagnosis (p16 hypermethylated, dashed lines; p16 not hypermethylated, solid lines). Methylation of the p16 promoter resulted in shortened TTR for younger patients A, left, P=0.003, but not for older patients; right, P=0.802. In contrast, methylation of the PTEN promoter resulted in significantly shortened TTR in both groups regardless of age: younger than 60 group, P=0.017 over 60 group P<0.001 [A, (60 or younger): n=56 at baseline, 21 events during follow-up; A, (older than 60): n=120 at baseline, 43 events during follow-up]; [B, (60 or younger): n=52 at baseline, 19 events during follow-up; B, (older than 60), n= 112 at baseline, 35 events during follow-up].JOURNAL/dimp/04.03/00019606-201212000-00002/figure3-2/v/2021-02-17T200047Z/r/image-jpegSurvival for non–small cell lung cancer patients grouped as younger (60 or younger; n=55, left) or older (older than 60; n=121, right) age at diagnosis. A significantly shortened median survival time with hypermethylation of p16 (dashed line) was observed in the younger group (P=0.011), but not in the older group (P=0.413).For the entire patient group, promoter hypermethylation of p16 was not found to be significantly related to either TTR or OS. However, within the 60 or younger-year subgroup, promoter hypermethylation of p16 was significantly associated with shortened TTR (P=0.003) while having no such association with TTR in the older than 60-year subgroup (P=−0.802; Fig. 2A). This age-related effect of p16 methylation was independent of stage, as there was no significant correlation of stage with p16 hypermethylation (χ2P=0.172).This differential effect of hypermethylation on outcomes was not observed in any of the other gene promoters tested. For example, hypermethylation of the PTEN promoter (defined as >23% methylation at CpG position −1310) was significantly associated with shortened TTR in the entire patient group,17 and this effect also continues to be significant in both the 60 or younger and the older than 60 groups (P=0.017 and P<0.001, respectively; Fig. 2B).Epigenetics and Survival in Older and Younger Age GroupsThe effect of p16 promoter hypermethylation on OS was consistent, with the differential effects observed on TTR for the 2 age subgroups. Promoter hypermethylation of p16 was related to shortened survival in the younger group, but not in the older group (P=0.011 and P=0.413 for the 60 or younger and older than 60 groups, respectively; Fig. 3).Table 2 shows a gradient correlation between outcome and p16 promoter hypermethylation. Using progressive cut-points of younger ages, the median TTR and OS becomes shorter with p16 hypermethylation. For all age groups, there was no difference in the outcome when the p16 promoter was not hypermethylated.JOURNAL/dimp/04.03/00019606-201212000-00002/table2-2/v/2021-02-17T200047Z/r/image-tiffTTR and Survival of Patients Grouped According to Age With p16Multivariate AnalysisThe differential effect of p16 hypermethylation on the 2 age groups was measured by an interaction term in the statistical analysis. In a multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis of TTR, which included age (60 or younger, older than 60), p16 hypermethylation, their interaction, and sex and the histopathologic subtype, the interaction between age and p16 hypermethylation was found to be strongly significant (P=0.003) even after adjusting for sex and histology.DISCUSSIONThe average age at diagnosis of lung cancer is 70 years, with <3% of cases occurring at less than 45 years of age.19 Here, we show data suggesting that at least 1 predictor of outcome in young lung cancer patients may be different from that in older patients. The influences of histology, stage, and smoking status are unlikely in this patient group, as none of these characteristics were over-represented in younger (60 or younger) or older (older than 60) patients. Sex and ethnicity may have some influence as the mean age at diagnosis was significantly lower in females than in males (60.6 vs. 64.2 y, P=0.04). The effect of sex on the outcome (TTR and OS), however, was not significant in the younger (60 or younger) patient group differentially affected by p16 promoter methylation. Neither was there an effect of ethnicity in the younger group even though age at diagnosis for African Americans was 60.1 years compared with 64.6 years for whites (P=0.02).Although overall methylation of the genome increases with age,20 a lack of p16 promoter hypermethylation in nonmalignant lungs (data not shown) argues against a role for p16 in tumor initiation. Age-dependent general methylation does not in itself cause malignancy in lung cancer. One report by Belshaw et al,21 however, showed that the differential methylation of genes affecting individual morphologically normal crypts may contribute to age-dependent tumorigenesis and, in combination with mutations, the stepwise development of colorectal cancer. Genetic and epigenetic abnormalities must affect specific tumor suppressor genes and biological pathways leading to malignancy.Genetic and epigenetic abnormalities affecting specific tumor suppressor genes and biological pathways in tumors can affect the outcome. We have previously shown an association of PTEN promoter hypermethylation with outcome in surgically treated early-stage lung cancer.3 A similar gene panel was used in the present study to address the effect of age at diagnosis on the predictive value of these biomarkers. We observed significantly less promoter hypermethylation in patients less than 40 to 50 years of age than in older patients. Tumors that occur in younger patients could develop from a mechanism independent of, or additive to, hypermethylation.Among the genes tested, hypermethylation throughout the p16 gene promoter showed the most significant differences with respect to age, with hypermethylation of the p16 gene promoter being much less frequent and at a lower level in younger patients than in older patients. Therefore, the young patients may develop lung cancer in the absence of p16 hypermethylation by a p16-independent mechanism. IHC showed that p16 protein expression was higher in older patients than in younger patients. When present, however, hypermethylation of p16 is more significantly associated with outcome in younger patients than in older patients. This could be the result of an additive effect of promoter hypermethylation of p16 (and possibly other) genes in addition to the putative hypermethylation-independent tumorigenetic pathway.In contrast to p16, promoter hypermethylation of PTEN, which was significantly associated with outcome in our earlier study, was also associated with worse outcome in both the young and the old patient groups. This observation is consistent with specific pathways common to younger and older patients, with others specific to one or the other group. Loss of PTEN may represent a more general tumorigenic pathway [upregulation of phosphorylated v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (p-AKT) and inhibition of apoptosis] occurring in younger and older patients, whereas loss of p16 may represents a separate mechanism (G1-S checkpoint transition and proliferation) occurring more frequently in older patients. Loss of p16 protein is infrequent in younger patients where malignancy must have arisen through other pathways. Additional loss of p16 protein in a subset of these patients may acerbate the malignant phenotype.Despite the overall increased methylation levels, promoter hypermethylation did not necessarily correlate with decreased TTR and OS in older NSCLC patients. One of the most strongly significant observations in our study was the association of younger NSCLC patient groups (defined by cut-points of ≤60, ≤50, and ≤40 y) and p16 promoter hypermethylation. Levels of methylation of all p16 promoter CpG sites tested were significantly higher in the older age groups compared with the younger groups. Furthermore, promoter hypermethylation of p16 was associated with shortened TTR and OS in patients who were 60 years or younger at diagnosis than in patients who were older than 60 years of age at diagnosis (Figs. 2B, 3). This effect was not seen with any of the other genes tested. Those that showed no effect in the overall patient group showed no differential effect by age. PTEN promoter hypermethylation, previously shown to be associated with shorter TTR and OS, was also associated with worse outcome in both young and old age (Fig. 2B), showing that the age affect on outcome is unique to p16 (among the genes tested).p16 promoter hypermethylation is a widespread epigenetic alteration that has been previously shown to be involved in all stages of NSCLC.22 The results of the present study suggest an effect of demographic selection in defining predictors of outcome. Some limitations to the present study should be considered. First, increased expression of p16 and its splice variant, p14/ARF, have been characterized as biomarkers of aging.20,23 This is thought to be a defense mechanism against proliferation among increased populations of aberrant cells. In contrast, the expression of p16 protein is decreased in cancer cells, allowing overproliferation to occur. The counteracting mechanisms of control of p16 expression have not been fully defined. It is known that multiple methylation-dependent and methylation-independent mechanisms control gene expression at the p16 locus, including transcription factors, reactive oxygen species, long noncoding RNA, and histone modifications.24,25 It is difficult to completely separate the influence of these regulators in aberrant cell growth. Methylation-independent dysregulation and promoter hypermethylation may represent separate mechanisms leading to tumorigenesis.The age-related counteracting changes in p16 protein expression versus aberrant methylation confound the interpretation of the effect of either. As aberrant p16 hypermethylation does not occur until later in life at which time other lesions have contributed to the malignant cell phenotype, there is less opportunity for an additive effect of the additional loss of p16 protein function. In cases where cancer occurs at an early age, p16 promoter hypermethylation may result in a more significant effect. As a result, cells in younger patients with both methylation-independent and hypermethylation mechanisms will be less likely to enter senescence or apoptosis, that is, more likely to generate a recurrent clone. The concepts of both how and why younger patient groups accrue sufficient hypermethylation to silence p16 promoters will be significant in unraveling this phenomenon.Numerous studies have demonstrated links between promoter hypermethylation and patient outcome with the intent to translate these data into prognostic significance. The results reported here suggest that these studies may be hampered by differences in the causative affected biological pathways in patients in different demographic groups. Sex and ethnicity have been shown to affect the incidence and the therapeutic response in lung cancer. Studies on the effect of environmental factors have also indicated that the mechanism of tumorigenesis may be different in nonsmoking lung cancer patients from that in smokers or those exposed to other environmental factors.These observations might be expanded to differential treatment efficacies, depending on the mechanism of action of the targeted agents. As has been observed in late-stage patients treated with targeted therapy, demographic and environmental characteristics are associated with tumor biology (the presence of EGFR, ALK, or KRAS mutations) and tumor response. Effective treatments are being developed on the basis of these characteristics to optimize the use of such therapies. Further studies will clarify effective treatment strategies as information accumulates on the relationships between demographics and the outcome.The relationship between DNA methylation (silencing) of tumor suppressor gene promoters and prognostic significance continues to be an interest for investigation. Multiple studies, including this one, have attempted to further characterize the potential prognostic significance of hypermethylation in promoter regions of myriad genes involved with cellular function. Our study investigates the relationship of hypermethylation of individual promoter sites of several genes with respect to different age subsets. Specifically, we found that despite a greater degree of hypermethylation in older individuals, hypermethylation of p16 is associated with a shorter TTR in patients with early ages of diagnosis, independent of stage. The details regarding pathogenesis remain to be discovered.REFERENCES1. Herman J, Baylin SB. 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Solid lines and filled symbols are levels for the younger groups (40 or younger, diamonds; 50 or younger, triangles; 60 or younger, circles). Dashed lines and open symbols are levels for the younger groups (older than 40, diamonds; older than 50, triangles; older than 60, circles). Further studies were performed on CpG site −59.Time to recurrence (TTR) for non–small cell lung cancer patients grouped as younger (left) or older (right) age at diagnosis (p16 hypermethylated, dashed lines; p16 not hypermethylated, solid lines). Methylation of the p16 promoter resulted in shortened TTR for younger patients A, left, P=0.003, but not for older patients; right, P=0.802. In contrast, methylation of the PTEN promoter resulted in significantly shortened TTR in both groups regardless of age: younger than 60 group, P=0.017 over 60 group P<0.001 [A, (60 or younger): n=56 at baseline, 21 events during follow-up; A, (older than 60): n=120 at baseline, 43 events during follow-up]; [B, (60 or younger): n=52 at baseline, 19 events during follow-up; B, (older than 60), n= 112 at baseline, 35 events during follow-up].Survival for non–small cell lung cancer patients grouped as younger (60 or younger; n=55, left) or older (older than 60; n=121, right) age at diagnosis. A significantly shortened median survival time with hypermethylation of p16 (dashed line) was observed in the younger group (P=0.011), but not in the older group (P=0.413).TTR and Survival of Patients Grouped According to Age With p16<em xmlns:mrws="http://webservices.ovid.com/mrws/1.0">CDKN2A (p16)</em> Promoter Hypermethylation Influences the Outcome in Young Lung Cancer PatientsBradly Dawn P. MD; Gattuso, Paolo MD; Pool, Mark MD; Basu, Sanjib PhD; Liptay, Michael MD; Bonomi, Philip MD; Buckingham, Lela PhDOriginal ArticlesOriginal Articles421p 207-213

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