Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Epigenetic Biomarker

  • Tina Bianco-Miotto
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7134-5

Definition

Epigenetic biomarker refers to the measurement of epigenetic modifications in tissues or peripheral fluids like urine, blood, plasma, serum, and stool samples, as markers of disease detection, progression, and therapy response. In particular, most research into epigenetic biomarkers has focused on assessing epigenetic modifications as markers of diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy response in cancers. However, epigenetic biomarkers have also been used as markers of disease (e.g., Alzheimer, Parkinson, diabetes, obesity), and other uses have included markers of response to environmental exposures and toxicology.

Characteristics

Epigenetic Modifications

Epigenetic changes include DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNA which includes microRNAs. Epigenetic changes result in changes in gene expression without alterations to the DNA sequence. DNA methylation is the addition of a methyl group to the 5′ carbon of a cytosine, which occurs predominantly at cytosine...

Keywords

Prostate Cancer Histone Modification Epigenetic Modification Epigenetic Change Noncoding RNAs 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robinson Research Institute and School of Agriculture, Food and WineThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia