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Carcinogenesis. 2010 May;31(5):864-70. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgq051. Epub 2010 Mar 2.

MicroRNA-137 promoter methylation in oral rinses from patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck is associated with gender and body mass index.

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  • 1Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-1863, USA.

Abstract

Head and neck cancer represents 3.3% of all new malignancies and 2.0% of cancer deaths in the USA, the majority of which are squamous in origin. The overall 5 year survival is 60% and worsens with increasing stage at diagnosis. Thus, novel biomarkers for early detection of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) are needed. MicroRNA-137 (miR-137) plays a role in cell cycle control and seems to undergo promoter methylation in oral squamous cell carcinoma tissue. The main objectives of this study were to ascertain whether miR-137 promoter methylation is detectable in oral rinse samples, assess its association with SCCHN and identify potential risk factors for its occurrence. Oral rinse samples were collected from 99 SCCHN patients with no prior history of cancer and 99 cancer-free controls, frequency matched on gender; tumor tissue for 64 patients was also tested. Methylation of the miR-137 promoter, assessed using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction, was detected in 21.2% oral rinses from SCCHN patients and 3.0% from controls [odds ratio (OR) = 4.80, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23-18.82]. Among cases, promoter methylation of miR-137 was associated with female gender (OR = 5.30, 95% CI: 1.20-23.44) and inversely associated with body mass index (BMI) (OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.77-0.99). Promoter methylation of miR-137 appears to be a relatively frequently detected event in oral rinse of SCCHN patients and may have future utility as a biomarker in DNA methylation panels. The observed associations with gender and BMI help to shed light on potential risk factors for an altered methylation state in SCCHN.

PMID:
20197299
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2864416
Free PMC Article
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