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de Caceres II , Cairns P
Methylated DNA sequences for early cancer detection, molecular classification and chemotherapy response prediction
Clinical & Translational Oncology. 2007 Jul;9(7) :429-437
PMID: ISI:000256942600005   
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Molecular studies of many types of cancer have revealed that clinically evident tumours carry multiple genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, including DNA sequence alterations, chromosome copy number changes and aberrant promoter hypermethylation. Together, these aberrant changes result in the activation of oncogenes and inactivation of tumour-suppressor genes (TSG). In many cases these abnormalities can be found in premalignant lesions and even in histological normal adjacent cells. Many tumour types are difficult to detect early and are frequently resistant to available chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Therefore, the early detection, chemoprevention and the design of new therapeutic strategies based on the increased understanding of cancer molecular changes are one of the great challenges nowadays. Insertions of a methyl group at the fifth carbon of cytosines within the dinucleotide 5 ' CpG-3 ' is the best studied epigenetic mechanism. DNA methylation acts together with others mechanisms like histone modification, chromatin remodelling and microRNAs to mould the DNA structure according to the functional state required. The aberrant methylation of the CpG islands located at the promoter region of specific genes is a common and early event involved in cancer development. Thus, hypermethylated DNA sequences from tumours are one of the most promising markers for early detection screenings as well as tumour classification and chemotherapy response in many types of cancer.
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