Predictive significance of circulating histones in hepatocellular carcinoma patients treated with sorafenib

Salani, Francesca; Latarani, Maryam; Casadei-Gardini, Andrea; Gangadharannambiar, Priyadarsini; Fornaro, Lorenzo; Vivaldi, Caterina; Pecora, Irene; Massa, Valentina; Marisi, Giorgia; Canale, Matteo; Ulivi, Paola; Scartozzi, Mario; Eccleston, Mark; Masi, Gianluca and Crea, Francesco (2022). Predictive significance of circulating histones in hepatocellular carcinoma patients treated with sorafenib. Epigenomics (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2217/epi-2021-0383

Abstract

Background: Predictive biomarkers for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma are lacking. EZH2 drives sorafenib resistance through H3K27me3 and is counteracted by SETD2, which catalyzes H3K36me3. The authors tested the predictive power of circulating H3K27me3 and H3K36me3 in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma patients treated with sorafenib.

Methods: A total of 80 plasma samples were tested for histone variants by ELISA. Changes from baseline to best response or progressive disease were correlated with patient survival.

Results: A higher EZH2/SETD2 ratio predicted worse prognosis in this setting. H3K27me3 and H3K36me3 decreased from baseline to best response. The H3K27me3/H3K36me3 ratio increased from baseline to progressive disease. Higher ratios at best response were associated with shorter progression-free survival.

Conclusion: The authors suggest that circulating H3K27me3/H3K36me3 ratio level acts as a predictive biomarker for sorafenib treatment outcomes in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

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