Oncology Central

DNA methylation patterns as noninvasive biomarkers and targets of epigenetic therapies in colorectal cancer

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Aberrant DNA methylation is frequently detected in gastrointestinal tumors, and can therefore potentially be used to screen, diagnose, prognosticate, and predict colorectal cancers (CRCs). Although colonoscopic screening remains the gold standard for CRC screening, this procedure is invasive, expensive, and suffers from poor patient compliance. Methylated DNA is an attractive choice for a biomarker substrate because CRCs harbor hundreds of aberrantly methylated genes. Furthermore, abundance in extracellular environments and resistance to degradation and enrichment in serum, stool, and other noninvasive bodily fluids, allows quantitative measurements of methylated DNA biomarkers.

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