Next Article in Journal
TRPV1 Antagonists and Chronic Pain: Beyond Thermal Perception
Next Article in Special Issue
Epigenetic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Perspectives for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Previous Article in Journal
89Zr-Radiolabeled Trastuzumab Imaging in Orthotopic and Metastatic Breast Tumors
Open AccessReview

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

Department of Radiation Oncology, Rush University Medical Center, 1750 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5(1), 94-113;
Received: 6 December 2011 / Revised: 10 January 2012 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Therapies and Biomarkers)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA methylation; biomarker; cfcDNA; cancer; therapy; MethDet DNA methylation; biomarker; cfcDNA; cancer; therapy; MethDet
Show Figures

Figure 1

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Back to TopTop