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European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990)

Validation of methylation markers for diagnosis of oral cavity cancer.


PMID 25686481

Abstract

Activation of proto-oncogenes and inactivation of tumour suppressor genes are the major genetic alterations involved in carcinogenesis. The increase in methylation at the promoter region of a tumour suppressor gene can lead to gene inactivation, selecting cells with proliferative advantage. Thus, promoter hypermethylation is considered a marker in a variety of malignant tumours, including oral cavity. The methylation pattern of eight genes was evaluated in 40 oral cavity squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) and 40 saliva samples from healthy individuals by Q-MSP. Different combinations of genes were also assessed in order to identify gene panels that could better distinguish between OSCC and saliva samples. CCNA1, DAPK, DCC and TIMP3 methylation were highly specific for being found in the OSCC samples. Moreover, the combination of these genes improved detection when compared with single markers, reaching values of 92.5% for sensitivity and specificity (when using the panel CCNA1, DCC, TIMP3). Moreover, DAPK, DCC and TIMP3 were hypermethylated in nearly 90% of clinically T1 and T2 cases. The pursuing of this panel of hypermethylated genes is an important tool for the detection of individuals with OSCC. Moreover, the identification of these markers in early stages of OSCC shows the feasibility of using the panel on saliva as possible biomarkers for early diagnosis. The lack of association between the methylation status of these genes and clinical characteristics shows that they are able to distinguish OSCC cases irrespective of social and clinical factors (gender, age, human papillomavirus (HPV) status, clinical stage, vascular embolisation and perineural invasion).