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Epigenetic biomarkers in cancer
  1. Gerda Egger
  1. Department of Pathology, Medical University of Vienna and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Applied Diagnostics, Wien, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gerda Egger; gerda.egger{at}


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Epigenetic biomarkers are emerging across tumour types in cancer research. Aberrant DNA methylation in tumours results in silencing of distinct genes. This modification is very stable and therefore can reliably be assessed and used as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker. Recently, DNA methylation was validated as an additional diagnostic biomarker in brain tumours. Here, the methylation profile allowed precise clinical diagnosis associated with the survival prognosis.1 Therefore, the addition of DNA methylation profiles to routine diagnostic assessment in cancer diagnosis might be promising to ensure accurate diagnosis and support treatment decisions. Further, predictive epigenetic biomarkers were identified, e.g MGMT methylation was repeatably shown to associate with response to alkylating chemotherapy. Several current research efforts are concentrating on the identification of new diagnostic as well as predictive biomarkers in various types of cancer. This podcast provides on overview of the current routinely used biomarkers as well as an outlook on what is on the horizon in epigenetic biomarkers.


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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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