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  1. Xinxin Zhu, PhD, MD,
  2. Ling Zhao, PhD, MD and
  3. Jinghe Lang, PhD, MD
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jinghe Lang, PhD, MD, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, No. 1 Shuaifuyuan Wangfujing, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100730, China. E-mail: doctorlangjh{at}


Objective This study aimed to assess the relationship between BRCA1 gene methylation, PD-L1 protein expression, and the clinicopathologic features of sporadic ovarian cancer (OC).

Methods Bisulfite pyrosequencing and immunohistochemistry were used to detect BRCA1 gene methylation and PD-L1 protein expression, respectively, in tumor tissues from 112 patients with sporadic OC. Their levels were analyzed against clinicopathologic characteristics and prognosis using standard statistical methods.

Results Twenty percent (22/112) of the OC cases exhibited BRCA1 gene hypermethylation. The frequency of BRCA1 hypermethylation was significantly higher in serous OC (25%) than in nonserous OC (8%; P < 0.05). No significant correlations were discovered between BRCA1 hypermethylation and age, menstrual status, tumor location, stage, lymph node metastasis, and prognosis (P > 0.05). Among the 112 OC cases, 59% (66/112) cases were positive for PD-L1 protein expression. No significant difference existed between PD-L1 expression and age, menstrual status, histological type, tumor location, stage, lymph node metastasis, and prognosis (P > 0.05). Moreover, no correlation existed between BRCA1 methylation and PD-L1 expression (P > 0.05, r = 0.002).

Conclusions This is the first study linking BRCA1 hypermethylation variability to PD-L1 protein expression and the clinicopathologic features of OC. The data demonstrated that an epigenetic alteration of BRCA1 was closely associated with serous OC. The expression of PD-L1 was unrelated to the clinicopathologic features or BRCA1 hypermethylation in sporadic OC.

  • BRCA1
  • Promoter methylation
  • PD-L1
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prognosis

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.