Gene methylation and early detection of genitourinary cancer: the road ahead.

DNA methylation is a common mechanism of inactivation of tumour-suppressor and other cancer genes in neoplastic cells. The advantages of gene methylation as a target for the detection and diagnosis of cancer in biopsy specimens and non-invasive body fluids such as urine or blood has led to many studies of application in genitourinary cancer. Here, we consider the background, promise and status, challenges and future directions of gene methylation and its clinical utility for the early detection of genitourinary cancer. The challenges of, and strategies for, advancing gene-methylation-based detection are relevant to all types of cancer.

Cairns P


Nat. Rev. Cancer, 2007, 7 (7)

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