DNA methylation as a cancer-specific biomarker: From molecules to populations

Arti Patel, John Davis Groopman, Asad Umar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cancer contributes to a large proportion of the mortality and morbidity in the United States and worldwide. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment of various cancers, early detection and treatment of cancer remain a challenge. Diagnosis of cancer often occurs once the disease has progressed to a point where currently available intervention options provide limited success. Therefore, techniques that enable early detection followed by targeted interventions would influence stage at diagnosis and, in turn, mortality associated with cancer. Identification of molecular biomarkers, especially those that are associated with cancer initiation and progression, shows promise as an effective strategy in this regard. One potential early detection biomarker is DNA methylation of the promoter region of certain cancer-associated genes, which results in gene inactivation. Examination of serum for circulating tumor DNA with abnormal methylation patterns offers a possible method for early detection of several cancers and serves as a point for early intervention and prevention strategies. Additionally, it is imperative to consider how such a screening mechanism can be implemented in populations at risk, especially in resource-poor settings. Thus, the challenge is to validate DNA methylation as a cancer-specific biomarker, with the ultimate goal of designing a research plan that integrates the current knowledge base regarding cancer detection and diagnosis into specific prevention and intervention strategies that can be applied at a population level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-297
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume983
StatePublished - Mar 2003

Fingerprint

Biomarkers
DNA Methylation
Tumor Biomarkers
Molecules
Population
Neoplasms
Genes
Methylation
Early Detection of Cancer
Genetic Promoter Regions
Tumors
Screening
Knowledge Bases
Mortality
Neoplasm Genes
Gene Silencing
Cancer
DNA
Morbidity
Serum

Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • DNA methylation
  • Early cancer detection
  • Serum markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

DNA methylation as a cancer-specific biomarker : From molecules to populations. / Patel, Arti; Groopman, John Davis; Umar, Asad.

In: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 983, 03.2003, p. 286-297.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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