Silenced CDH13 Gene as a Biomarker of Cancer

Biochemical (prostate-specific antigen) recurrence of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy remains a major problem. Better biomarkers are needed to identify high-risk patients. A methylation-specific PCR assay has been used to assess the methylation state of 15 genes known to influence prostate cancer in prostate cancer tissue samples taken from patients during surgery to remove all or part of the prostate gland (Alumkal et al. 2008). Prostate cancer recurrence, which occurred in one third of patients within 5 years of their surgery, was linked to silencing of one of these genes, CDH13, which codes the protein cadherin 13 (plays a role in cell-cell adhesion). The results of this study showed that methylation of CDH13 is independently associated with an increased risk of biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy even considering the weighted risk of recurrence score. These findings should be validated in an independent, larger cohort of patients with prostate cancer who have undergone radical prostatectomy. Promoter methylation of CDH13, which occurs frequently in the serum of patients with prostate cancer, is associated with an increased risk of death, and may become a useful independent predictor of a poor prognosis (Wang et al. 2014).

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