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Epigenetics. 2013 Oct;8(10):1013-22. doi: 10.4161/epi.25927. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Alterations of DNA methylome in human bladder cancer.

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Department of Preventive Medicine; Keck School of Medicine of USC; University of Southern California; Los Angeles, CA USA.


Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men in the United States, and its recurrence rate is highest among all malignancies. The unmet need for improved strategies for early detection, treatment, and monitoring of the progression of this disease continues to translate into high mortality and morbidity. The quest for advanced diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic approaches for bladder cancer is a high priority, which can be achieved by understanding the molecular mechanisms of the initiation and progression of this malignancy. Aberrant DNA methylation in single or multiple cancer-related genes/loci has been found in human bladder tumors and cancer cell lines, and urine sediments, and correlated with many clinicopathological features of this disease, including tumor relapse, muscle-invasiveness, and survival. The present review summarizes the published research on aberrant DNA methylation in connection with human bladder cancer. Representative studies are highlighted to set forth the current state of knowledge, gaps in the knowledgebase, and future directions in this prime epigenetic field of research. Identifying the potentially reversible and 'drugable' aberrant DNA methylation events that initiate and promote bladder cancer development can highlight biological markers for early diagnosis, effective therapy and accurate prognosis of this malignancy.


aberrant DNA methylation; animal models; epigenetics; transitional cell carcinoma; tumorigenesis

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