Purpose: Endometrial cancer is a common gynecologic cancer whose incidence is increasing annually worldwide. Current methods to detect endometrial cancer are unreliable and biomarkers are unsatisfactory for screening. Cervical scrapings were reported as a potential source of material for molecular testing. DNA methylation is a promising cancer biomarker, but limited use for detecting endometrial cancer. Experimental Design: We analyzed two methylomics databases of endometrioid-type endometrial cancer. Using nonnegative matrix factorization algorithm clustered the methylation pattern and reduced the candidate genes. We verified in pools DNA from endometrial cancer tissues and cervical scrapings, and validated in 146 cervical scrapings from patients with endometrioid-type endometrial cancer (n = 50), uterine myoma (n = 40), and healthy controls (n = 56) using quantitative methylation-specific PCR (QMSP). The logistic regression was used to evaluate the performance of methylation signal and gene combination. Results: We filtered out 180 methylated genes, which constituted four consensus clusters. Serial testing of tissues and cervical scrapings detected 14 genes that are hypermethylated in endometrial cancer. Three genes, BHLHE22, CDO1, and CELF4, had the best performance. Individual genes were sensitivity of 83.7%-96.0% and specificity of 78.7%-96.0%. A panel comprising any two of the three hypermethylated genes reached a sensitivity of 91.8%, specificity of 95.5%, and odds ratio of 236.3 (95% confidence interval, 56.4-989.6). These markers were also applied to cervical scrapings of type II endometrial cancer patients, and detected in 13 of 14 patients. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the potential use of methylated BHLHE22/CDO1/CELF4 panel for endometrial cancer screening of cervical scrapings.
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