Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common intraocular tumor in adults. Despite effective local treatments, 50% of patients develop metastasis. Better ways to determine prognosis are needed as well as new therapeutic targets. Epigenetic changes are important events driving cancer progression; however, few studies exist on methylation changes in UM. Our aim was to identify methylation events associated with UM prognosis. Matched clinical, genetic, and methylation data for 80 UM cases were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Top differentially methylated loci were sorted through hierarchical clustering based on methylation patterns, and these patterns were compared to tumor characteristics, genomic aberrations, and patient outcome. Hierarchical clustering revealed two distinct groups. These classifications effectively separated high and low-risk cases, with significant differences between groups in patient survival (p
< 0.0001) and correlation with known prognostic factors. Major differences in methylation of specific genes, notably NFIA
, and IL12RB2
, were also seen. The methylation patterns identified in this study indicate potential novel prognostic indicators of UM and highlight the power of methylation changes in predicting outcome. The methylation events enriched in the high-risk group suggest that epigenetic modulating drugs may be useful in reducing metastatic potential, and that specific differentially methylated loci could act as biomarkers of therapeutic response.
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