CRCbiome epigenome

The epigenome refers to all the chemical compounds that modify the DNA, controlling how genes are turned on or off. DNA methylation is one of these modifications. Changes in DNA methylation patterns can influence how cells grow and divide, potentially contributing to the development of cancer.

Study focus

In this project we are going to look at the DNA methylation patterns in colon tissue samples from different stages of cancer development. These samples where taken during colonoscopy. Later we can see if these differences might be linked to what's happening in the gut and blood. 

 

Aims

  • Identify epigenetic differences between non-neoplastic findings, non-advanced lesions, advanced lesions, and colorectal cancer.​

  • Identify associations and correlations between the epigenomic profiles of the lesions with clinical factors, gut microbiome and blood transcriptome biomarkers.

 

Methods

DNA extraction from the colon tissue, and production of DNA methylation profiles, will be performed in established collaborations. The extraction will be performed at Akershus University Hospital, and the production of DNA methylation profiles will be performed in Germany at Life & Brain, which is one of the leading service providers for all types of microarray experiments using Illumina technology in Europe.

 

Status

The tissue samples removed during colonoscopy come from two different Norwegian hospitals, Østfold Hospital and Vestre Viken Hospital. In total there was approximately 500 samples that fit our criteria and were included in this study, with half coming from one hospital and half from the other.

  • DNA extraction from the first half of the tissue samples are done 
  • We are now waiting for the second half of the samples

Next steps

  • When the DNA is ready, it will be sent to the service lab in Bonn, Germany for DNA methylation analysis.
  • The DNA methylation data will be further analysed by researchers in the project, to look for patterns or changes that might be associated with colorectal cancer development.