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Identifying Epigenetic Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer

Published: Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 01, 2014
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IDT qPCR assays and probes facilitate the development of predictive epigenetic biomarkers.

In the latest issue of DECODED, Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) talks about how the prognosis for men with aggressive forms of prostate cancer is improved if detected early.

Dr Antoinette Perry, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (Dublin, Ireland) leads a team whose research is directed at understanding how changes in DNA methylation of both coding and non-coding RNA genes are involved in driving prostate carcinogenesis.

Previously published work by Dr Perry revealed that SFRP2, a Wnt signalling agonist, is hypermethylated in approximately 65% of prostate tumors.

IDT PrimeTime® qPCR Assays were used to measure expression levels of SFRP2, and subsequent analysis showed an inverse correlation between expression and tumor grade.

As part of a further investigation into the involvement of hypermethylated genes in prostate cancer, prognostic markers are being developed for use in a non-invasive test that will distinguish high-risk from lower-risk tumors. Following cell recovery, IDT primers and ZEN™ Double-Quenched Probes are used for sensitive quantification of prostate cancer-specific DNA methylation.

In addition to the cellular component, the scientists monitor cell-free nucleic acids for DNA methylation and expression of small non-coding RNAs.

The IDT PrimerQuest ( is being used to design methylation-specific assays (primers and probes that will hybridize specifically to bisulfite modified methylation target regions, but that will not amplify unconverted genomic DNA or unmethylated DNA).

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