There is a major deficit in our ability to detect and predict the clinical behavior of prostate cancer (PCa). Epigenetic changes are associated with PCa development and progression. This review will focus on recent results in the clinical application of diagnostic and prognostic epigenetic markers.
The development of high throughput technology has seen an enormous increase in the discovery of new markers that encompass epigenetic changes including those in DNA methylation and histone modifications. Application of these findings to urine and other biofluids, but also cancer and noncancerous prostate tissue, has resulted in new biomarkers. There has been a recent commercial development of a DNA methylation-based assay for identifying PCa risk from normal biopsy tissue. Other biomarkers are currently in the validation phase and encompass combinations of multiple genes.
Epigenetic changes improve the specificity and sensitivity of PCa diagnosis and have the potential to help determine clinical prognosis. Additional studies will not only provide new and better biomarker candidates, but also have the potential to inform new therapeutic strategies given the reversibility of these processes.
aDepartment of Urology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
bUniversity of Wisconsin Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center
cEnvironmental and Molecular Toxicology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Correspondence to David F. Jarrard, MD, 7037 Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792, USA. Tel: +1 608 252 0937; fax: +1 608 265 0614; e-mail: email@example.com