INTRODUCTION: Current prognostic blood-based biomarkers for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are limited. Recently, promoter hypermethylation of SFRP1 (phSFRP1) has been linked to poor prognosis in patients with gemcitabine-treated stage IV PDAC. This study explores the effects of phSFRP1 in patients with lower stage PDAC.
METHODS: Based on a bisulfite treatment process, the promoter region of the SFRP1 gene was analyzed with methylation-specific PCR. Kaplan-Meier curves, log-rank tests, and generalized linear regression analysis were used to assess restricted mean survival time survival at 12 and 24 months.
RESULTS: The study included 211 patients with stage I-II PDAC. The median overall survival of patients with phSFRP1 was 13.1 months, compared to 19.6 months in patients with unmethylated SFRP1 (umSFRP1). In adjusted analysis, phSFRP1 was associated with a loss of 1.15 months (95%CI -2.11, -0.20) and 2.71 months (95%CI -2.71, -0.45) of life at 12 and 24 months, respectively. There was no significant effect of phSFRP1 on disease-free or progression-free survival. In stage I-II PDAC, patients with phSFRP1 have worse prognoses than patients with umSFRP1.
DISCUSSION: Results could indicate that the poor prognosis may be caused by reduced benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. SFRP1 may help guide the clinician and be a possible target for epigenetically modifying drugs.