Virchows Archiv

, 455:485 | Cite as

Prognostic implications of CpG island hypermethylator phenotype in colorectal cancers

  • Jung Ho Kim
  • So Hyun Shin
  • Hyeong Ju Kwon
  • Nam Yun Cho
  • Gyeong Hoon KangEmail author
Original Article


CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) refers to a subset of colorectal cancers (CRCs) that are characterized by concordant hypermethylation of multiple CpG island loci. CIMP+ CRCs have peculiar clinicopathological features. However, controversy exists over prognostic implications of CIMP in CRCs. We analyzed 320 cases of CRCs for their CIMP status using the MethyLight assay and determined clinicopathological features and prognostic implications of CIMP alone or in combination with microsatellite instability (MSI). With methylation of five or more markers among eight markers examined, CIMP+ tumors were significantly associated with female gender, proximal tumor location, poor differentiation, nodal metastasis, more advanced cancer, BRAF mutations, MSI, and poor prognosis (all P values <0.05). Ogino’s combined eight-marker panel outperformed the Ogino and the Laird five-marker panels in detecting these features. Of the four molecular subtypes generated by the combination of CIMP and MSI status, the CIMP+/MSI− subtype showed the worst clinical outcome (P = 0.0003). However, poor prognosis of CIMP+/MSI− subtype was found to be attributed to BRAF mutation. In conclusion, the CIMP+/MSI− subtype tends to present with distinct clinicopathological and molecular features and shows the worst clinical outcome among the four molecular subtypes of CRCs.


Colon cancer CpG island methylator phenotype DNA methylation Microsatellite instability 



This study was supported by the 21C Frontier Functional Human Genome Project from the Ministry of Science & Technology in Korea (FG09-11-02) and by a grant from the National R&D Program for Cancer Control, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (0720540).

Conflict of interest statement

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

428_2009_857_MOESM1_ESM.doc (43 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 (DOC 43 kb)
428_2009_857_MOESM2_ESM.doc (58 kb)
Supplementary Table 2 (DOC 58.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jung Ho Kim
    • 1
  • So Hyun Shin
    • 2
  • Hyeong Ju Kwon
    • 1
  • Nam Yun Cho
    • 2
  • Gyeong Hoon Kang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PathologySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Laboratory of Epigenetics, Cancer Research Institute and 2nd Stage Brain KoreaSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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