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In Journal for immunotherapy of cancer

BACKGROUND : Therapies based on targeting immune checkpoints have revolutionized the treatment of metastatic melanoma in recent years. Still, biomarkers predicting long-term therapy responses are lacking.

METHODS : A novel approach of reference-free deconvolution of large-scale DNA methylation data enabled us to develop a machine learning classifier based on CpG sites, specific for latent methylation components (LMC), that allowed for patient allocation to prognostic clusters. DNA methylation data were processed using reference-free analyses (MeDeCom) and reference-based computational tumor deconvolution (MethylCIBERSORT, LUMP).

RESULTS : We provide evidence that DNA methylation signatures of tumor tissue from cutaneous metastases are predictive for therapy response to immune checkpoint inhibition in patients with stage IV metastatic melanoma.

CONCLUSIONS : These results demonstrate that LMC-based segregation of large-scale DNA methylation data is a promising tool for classifier development and treatment response estimation in cancer patients under targeted immunotherapy.

Filipski Katharina, Scherer Michael, Zeiner Kim N, Bucher Andreas, Kleemann Johannes, Jurmeister Philipp, Hartung Tabea I, Meissner Markus, Plate Karl H, Fenton Tim R, Walter Jörn, Tierling Sascha, Schilling Bastian, Zeiner Pia S, Harter Patrick N


biomarkers, biostatistics, immunotherapy, melanoma, tumor, tumor biomarkers