Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Background: The pathogenesis of sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) is influenced by the patient genetic background and environmental factors. Based on prior understanding, these are classified in two major pathways of genetic instability. Microsatellite instability (MSI) and CPG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) are categorized as features of the hypermethylated prototype, and chromosomal instability (CIN) is known to be indicative of the non-hypermethylated category. Secreted frizzled related protein 2 (SFRP2), APC1A in WNT signaling pathway and the DNA repair gene, O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), are frequently hypermethylated in colorectal cancer. Detection of methylated DNA as a biomarker by easy and inexpensive methods might improve the quality of life of patients with CRC via early detection of cancer or a precancerous condition. Aim: To evaluate the rate of SFRP2 and MGMT hypermethylation in both polyp tissue and serum of patients in south Iran as compared with matched control normal population corresponding samples. Materials and Methods: Methylation-specific PCR was used to detect hypermethylation in DNA extracted from 48 polypoid tissue samples and 25 healthy individuals. Results: Of total polyp samples, 89.5% had at least one promoter gene hypermethylation. The most frequent methylated locus was SFRP2 followed by MGMT-B (81.2 and 66.6 percent respectively). Serologic detection of hypermethylation was 95% sensitive as compared with polyp tissue. No hypermethylation was detected in normal tissue and serum and its detection in patients with polyps, especially of serrated type, was specific. Conclusions: Serologic investigation for detection of MGMT-B, SFRP2 hypermethylation could facilitate prioritization of high risk patients for colonoscopic polyp detection and excision.