Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 356–362 | Cite as

DNA methylation signatures in circulating cell-free DNA as biomarkers for the early detection of cancer

  • Junyun Wang
  • Xiao Han
  • Yingli SunEmail author


Detecting cell-free DNA (cfDNA) or circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in plasma or serum could serve as a “liquid biopsy”, which would be useful for numerous diagnostic applications. cfDNA methylation detection is one of the most promising approaches for cancer risk assessment. Here, we reviewed the literature related to the use of serum or plasma circulating cell-free DNA for cancer diagnosis in the early stage and their power as future biomarkers.


circulating cell-free DNA DNA methylation diagnostic markers cancer detection 


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This work was supported by the Precision Medicine Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KJZD-EW-L14), the National Basic Research Program (2012CB518302, 2013CB911001), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31540033, 91019024), and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA01040407).


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© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Genomic and Precision Medicine, China Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Center, Beijing Institute of GenomicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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