Next Article in Journal
Next Article in Special Issue
Previous Article in Journal
Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5(1), 94-113; doi:10.3390/ph5010094
Review

DNA Methylation as Clinically Useful Biomarkers—Light at the End of the Tunnel

*  and
Received: 6 December 2011; in revised form: 10 January 2012 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Therapies and Biomarkers)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [225 KB, uploaded 18 January 2012]
Abstract: A recent expansion of our knowledge about epigenetic changes strongly suggests that epigenetic rather than genetic features better reflect disease development, and consequently, can become more conclusive biomarkers for the detection and diagnosis of different diseases. In this paper we will concentrate on the current advances in DNA methylation studies that demonstrate a direct link between abnormal DNA methylation and a disease. This link can be used to develop diagnostic biomarkers that will precisely identify a particular disease. It also appears that disease-specific DNA methylation patterns undergo unique changes in response to treatment with a particular drug, thus raising the possibility of DNA methylation-based biomarkers for the monitoring of treatment efficacy, for prediction of response to treatment, and for the prognosis of outcome. While biomarkers for oncology are the most obvious applications, other fields of medicine are likely to benefit as well. This potential is demonstrated by DNA methylation-based biomarkers for neurological and psychiatric diseases. A special requirement for a biomarker is the possibility of longitudinal testing. In this regard cell-free circulating DNA from blood is especially interesting because it carries methylation markers specific for a particular disease. Although only a few DNA methylation-based biomarkers have attained clinical relevance, the ongoing efforts to decipher disease-specific methylation patterns are likely to produce additional biomarkers for detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of different diseases in the near future.
Keywords: DNA methylation; biomarker; cfcDNA; cancer; therapy; MethDet DNA methylation; biomarker; cfcDNA; cancer; therapy; MethDet
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Levenson, V.V.; Melnikov, A.A. DNA Methylation as Clinically Useful Biomarkers—Light at the End of the Tunnel. Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5, 94-113.

AMA Style

Levenson VV, Melnikov AA. DNA Methylation as Clinically Useful Biomarkers—Light at the End of the Tunnel. Pharmaceuticals. 2012; 5(1):94-113.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Levenson, Victor V.; Melnikov, Anatoliy A. 2012. "DNA Methylation as Clinically Useful Biomarkers—Light at the End of the Tunnel." Pharmaceuticals 5, no. 1: 94-113.



Pharmaceuticals EISSN 1424-8247 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert