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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2012 Oct 1;50(10):1733-42. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2011-0902.

Global DNA hypomethylation in cancer: review of validated methods and clinical significance.

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  • 1Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory, Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias (IUOPA), HUCA, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.


Abstract DNA methylation is one of the best-known epigenetic modifications in mammals. The alteration of DNA methylation patterns has been found to be related to many diseases, including cancer. It is well-known that during carcinogenesis, a site-specific DNA hypermethylation and a global DNA hypomethylation take place. This overall loss of DNA methylation has been proposed as a valid biomarker for cancer. Given its medical utility, in recent years it has become apparent that there is a need to develop methods for the analysis of DNA methylation using different approaches: global, locus-specific, or genome-wide. Here we review some of these techniques and discuss their potential clinical utility.

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