Lung cancer is a major cause of cancer-related mortality in both men and women. A 5-year survival of lung cancer patients is only 15% with a negative correlation between progressively advanced lung cancer stage and a 5-year survival period. The only chance for cure is surgical resection if done at the early stage of the disease. Therefore, an early diagnosis and a better prediction of prognosis could decrease mortality. An early diagnosis could provide the opportunity for a therapeutic intervention early in the course of the disease. Genetic alterations in the cancer genome include aneuploidy, deletions and amplifications of chromosomal regions, loss of heterozygosity (LOH), microsatellite alterations, point mutations and aberrant promoter methylation. Of the various types of genetic alterations (i.e. gene amplifications, allele deletions, point mutations or deletions and methylation) reported in different tumor types, aberrant promoter methylation of genes is recent and is the focus of the present review. Specifically, we will briefly review the role of promoter methylation in various malignancies and then focus on lung cancer diagnosis and promoter gene methylation with emphasis on the methylation status of genes of the innate host defense, namely the surfactant proteins A and D.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research