Combination of L1 methylation and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes as prognostic marker in advanced gastric cancer

Younghoon Kim, Ye Young Rhee, Xianyu Wen, Nam Yun Cho, Jeong Mo Bae, Woo Ho Kim, Gyeong Hoon Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: High density of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) is known to be associated with prolonged survival time, whereas tumoral-L1 hypomethylation has been associated with shortened survival time in patients with gastric cancer (GC). Since L1-methylation level is high in lymphocytes, higher density of TIL could lead to higher measurement of L1-methylation level in cancer tissues which contain cancer cells as well as non-neoplastic cells, including TIL. Putative interaction of TIL in the relationship between L1-methylation level and survival led us to explore combinatory statuses of tumoral-L1-methylation level and TIL density as a prognostic marker in GC. Methods: TIL and tumoral-L1-methylation level were measured in advanced GC samples (n = 491), using CD3 immunohistochemistry and pyrosequencing-methylation analysis, respectively. TIL density was measured in tumor center and invasive front areas. Results: TIL density correlated with tumoral-L1-methylation level but the relationship was weak. Combinatory statuses of L1-methylation level and CD3 TIL density were found to be statistically significant in survival analysis. Multivariate analysis revealed that the relationship between combinatory statuses and survival was independent. Prognostic value of the combinatory statuses at invasive front was significant in an independent set. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that tumoral-L1-methylation level is correlated with TIL density and that combinatory statuses might help to find a subset of GCs with worse clinical outcome in GCs with low-L1-methylation status or a subset of GCs with better clinical outcome in GCs with high-L1-methylation status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-472
Number of pages9
JournalGastric Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2020



  • Gastric cancer
  • L1 element
  • Prognosis
  • T lymphocyte

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