Ovarian cancer is a major health concern for women and the identification of sensitive biomarkers for early detection and/or monitoring of disease recurrence is of high clinical relevance.
New work published in the Dec. 7 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE reports promising advances toward the development of blood-based DNA markers for ovarian cancer.
The researchers, led by Peter W. Laird of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, found that a DNA modification called "methylation" at a specific DNA site occurs frequently in ovarian tumors and can also be detected in the blood of ovarian cancer patients. This newly described methylation site was identified through a rigorous high-throughput screening process that tested over 27,000 different sites in the genome.
The epigenetic marker identified in this study was shown to have the potential to monitor disease status after surgery and might therefore prove helpful in enhancing the performance of existing biomarkers for disease recurrence.
Citation: Campan M, Moffitt M, Houshdaran S, Shen H, Widschwendter M, et al. (2011) Genome-Scale Screen for DNA Methylation-Based Detection Markers for Ovarian Cancer. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28141. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028141
Financial Disclosure: This work was supported by the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, grant PPD/USC.06, and National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, grant R01-CA096958. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interest Statement: PL is a consultant and Scientific Advisory Board member for Epigenomics AG. He holds issued patents on the MethyLight technology, which have been licensed to Epigenomics AG. This work was not supported by Epigenomics AG. Epigenomics had no role in study design, data collection or analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. In addition, PL and MC are named as inventors on a pending patent application for the Digital MethyLight technology. The patents and the relationship with Epigenomics do not alter the authors' adherence to all the PLoS ONE policies on sharing data and materials. The other authors disclosed no potential competing interest.
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