The detection of the methylated Wif-1 gene is more accurate than a fecal occult blood test for colorectal cancer screening

Aurelien Amiot, Hicham Mansour, Isabelle Baumgaertner, Jean-Charles Delchier, Christophe Tournigand, Jean-Pierre Furet, Jean-Pierre Carrau, Florence Canoui-Poitrine, Iradj Sobhani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background: The clinical benefit of guaiac fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) is now well established for colorectal cancer screening. Growing evidence has demonstrated that epigenetic modifications and fecal microbiota changes, also known as dysbiosis, are associated with CRC pathogenesis and might be used as surrogate markers of CRC. Patients and Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study that included all consecutive subjects that were referred (from 2003 to 2007) for screening colonoscopies. Prior to colonoscopy, effluents (fresh stools, sera-S and urine-U) were harvested and FOBTs performed. Methylation levels were measured in stools, S and U for 3 genes (Wif1, ALX-4, and Vimentin) selected from a panel of 63 genes; Kras mutations and seven dominant and subdominant bacterial populations in stools were quantified. Calibration was assessed with the Hosmer-Lemeshow chi-square, and discrimination was determined by calculating the C-statistic (Area Under Curve) and Net Reclassification Improvement index. Results: There were 247 individuals (mean age 60.8±12.4 years, 52% of males) in the study group, and 90 (36%) of these individuals were patients with advanced polyps or invasive adenocarcinomas. A multivariate model adjusted for age and FOBT led to a C-statistic of 0.83 [0.77-0.88]. After supplementary sequential (one-by-one) adjustment, Wif-1 methylation (S or U) and fecal microbiota dysbiosis led to increases of the C-statistic to 0.90 [0.84-0.94] (p = 0.02) and 0.81 [0.74-0.86] (p = 0.49), respectively. When adjusted jointly for FOBT and Wif-1 methylation or fecal microbiota dysbiosis, the increase of the C-statistic was even more significant (0.91 and 0.85, p
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e99233
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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