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Epigenetic Markers for Bladder Cancer in Urine

Author(s): Wun-Jae Kim | Yong-June Kim

Journal: Translational Oncogenomics
ISSN 1177-2727

Volume: 2;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: DNA methylation | Bladder cancer | Urine

Many tumor markers for bladder cancer have been evaluated for use in detecting and monitoring bladder cancers tissue specimens, bladder washes, and urine specimens. However, none of the biomarkers reported to date has shown sufficient sensitivity and specificity to detect the entire spectrum of bladder cancers in routine clinical practice. The limited value of the established prognostic markers demands analysis of new molecular parameters having the potential to predict the prognosis of bladder cancer patients, particularly, the high-risk patients at risk of cancer progression and recurrence. Abnormal methylation of CpG islands can efficiently repress transcription of the associated gene in a manner akin to mutations and deletions. Several tumor suppressor genes correlated with bladder cancer contain CpG islands in their promoters. Markers for aberrant methylation may be a potential gateway for monitoring bladder cancer. Hypermethylation of several gene promoters was detected in urine sediment DNA from bladder cancer patients. Detection of DNA methylation in voided urine is feasible and noninvasive. Methylation is an important molecular mechanism in the development of bladder cancer and could be used as a prognostic and diagnostic marker. Aberrant patterns of epigenetic modification could, in the near future, be crucial indicators in cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and may additionally be good targets for developing novel therapies while maintaining quality of life.
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