Methods for detecting DNA methylation in tumors: From bench to bedside

David S. Shames, John D. Minna, Adi F. Gazdar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Tumor-acquired changes in DNA methylation are the focus of research in an increasing number of basic, translational, and clinical laboratories around the world. In the laboratory, genome-wide technologies such as expression and DNA microarrays have been adapted to analyze patterns of DNA methylation and to screen for novel disease markers. Other technologies that are relatively inexpensive and highly sensitive such as methylation-specific PCR (MSP), or quantitative, such as quantitative MSP and pyrosequencing are widely used in retrospective studies and have potential in a diagnostic setting. In the near future, it may be possible to screen patients for common cancers using DNA methylation signatures as well as to measure patient responses to treatment, to identify patients at increased risk, or to monitor interventions designed to reduce cancer incidence. In this article, we review genome-wide and quantitative, high- resolution methods for methylation analysis that are used in the laboratory and clinic, and discuss their potential for use in a clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-198
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 28 2007


  • 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine
  • Cancer
  • DNA methylation
  • Methylation-specific PCR
  • Microarray
  • Promoter methylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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