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Cancer Lett. 2012 Feb 28;315(2):138-44. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2011.08.032. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

Aberrant methylation of the PTPRO gene in peripheral blood as a potential biomarker in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients.

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  • 1Department of Integrative Chinese and Western Medicine, Cancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, People's Republic of China.


Epigenetic inactivation of protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor-type O (PTPRO), a new member of the PTP family, has been described in several forms of cancer. We evaluated PTPRO promoter hypermethylation as a potential biomarker in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). This alteration was observed in 27 (75%) of 36 primary tumors and correlated significantly with depth of invasion (T-stage, P = 0.013). Among matched peripheral blood samples from ESCC patients, 13 (36.1%) of 36 exhibited detectable methylated PTPRO in plasma, while 15 (41.7%) of 36 had this abnormality in buffy coat. No methylated PTPRO was observed in normal peripheral blood samples from 10 healthy individuals. In addition, demethylation by 5-aza-dC treatment led to gene reactivation in PTPRO-methylated and -silenced ESCC cell lines. To our knowledge, this is the first report of methylated PTPRO as a noninvasive tumor biomarker in peripheral blood. These findings suggest that hypermethylated PTPRO occurs frequently in ESCC. Further, detection in peripheral blood of ESCC patients suggests potential clinical application for noninvasive diagnosis and disease monitoring.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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