Prognostic significance of aberrant gene methylation in gastric cancer


Promoter methylation acts as an important alternative to genetic alterations for gene inactivation in gastric carcinogenesis. Although a number of gastric cancer-associated genes have been found to be methylated in gastric cancer, valuable methylation markers for early diagnosis and prognostic evaluation of this cancer remain largely unknown. In the present study, we used methylation-specific PCR (MSP) to analyze promoter methylation of 9 gastric cancer-associated genes, including MLF1, MGMT, p16, RASSF2, hMLH1, HAND1, HRASLS, TM, and FLNc, and their association with clinicopathological characteristics and clinical outcome in a large cohort of gastric cancers. Our data showed that all of these genes were aberrantly methylated in gastric cancer, ranging from 8% to 51%. Moreover, gene methylation was strongly associated with certain clinicopathological characteristics, such as tumor differentiation, lymph node metastasis, and cancer-related death. Of interest, methylation of MGMT, p16, RASSF2, hMLH1, HAND1, and FLNc was closely associated with poor survival in gastric cancer, particularly MGMT, p16, RASSF2 and FLNc. Thus, our findings suggested these epigenetic events may contribute to the initiation and progression of gastric cancer. Importantly, methylation of some genes were closely relevant to poor prognosis in gastric cancer, providing the strong evidences that these hypermethylated genes may be served as valuable biomarkers for prognostic evaluation in this cancer

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This paper was published in PubMed Central.

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