Detection of aberrantly methylated hMLH1 promoter DNA in the serum of patients with microsatellite unstable colon cancer

W. M. Grady, A. Rajput, J. D. Lutterbaugh, S. D. Markowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Serological tumor markers have proven valuable in the care of individuals with cancer for the early detection of primary cancers, early detection of cancer relapse, monitoring the response of cancers to therapy, and as predictors of cancer prognosis. Recently, the aberrant hypermethylation of the hMLH1 promoter and its consequent transcriptional silencing has been shown to be a common event in the formation of sporadic microsatellite unstable colon cancer. The silencing of hMLH1 expression appears to be controlled by the hypermethylation of a specific region in the hMLH1 promoter. We developed a methylation-specific PCR assay that assesses this region of the hMLH1 promoter. We found that this assay is able to detect methylated hMLH1 promoter DNA in the serum of some patients with microsatellite unstable colon cancers. In a panel of sera from 19 colon cancer cases, 9 with hMLH1 promoter methylation in the tumor primary, the assay proved 33% sensitive and 100% specific. This assay offers a potential means for the serum-based detection and/or monitoring of microsatellite unstable colon cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-902
Number of pages3
JournalCancer Research
Volume61
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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