DNA Methylation Biomarkers for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: Diagnostic and Prognostic Tools


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a common tumor in southern China and south-eastern Asia. Effective strategies for the prevention or screening of NPC are limited. Exploring effective biomarkers for the early diagnosis and prognosis of NPC continues to be a rigorous challenge. Evidence is accumulating that DNA methylation alterations are involved in the initiation and progression of NPC. Over the past few decades, aberrant DNA methylation in single or multiple tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) in various biologic samples have been described in NPC, which potentially represents useful biomarkers. Recently, large-scale DNA methylation analysis by genome-wide methylation platform provides a new way to identify candidate DNA methylated markers of NPC. This review summarizes the published research on the diagnostic and prognostic potential biomarkers of DNA methylation for NPC and discusses the current knowledge on DNA methylation as a biomarker for the early detection and monitoring of progression of NPC.