DNA methylation in ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast Academic Article uri icon


  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-obligate precursor lesion of invasive carcinoma of the breast. Current prognostic markers based on histopathological examination are unable to accurately predict which DCIS cases will progress to invasive carcinoma or recur after surgical excision. Epigenetic changes have been shown to be a significant driver of tumorigenesis, and DNA methylation of specific gene promoters provides predictive and prognostic markers in many types of cancer, including invasive breast cancer. In general, the spectrum of genes that are methylated in DCIS strongly resembles that seen in invasive ductal carcinoma. The identification of specific prognostic markers in DCIS remains elusive and awaits additional work investigating a large panel of methylatable genes by using sensitive and reproducible technologies. This review critically appraises the role of methylation in DCIS and its use as a biomarker.

publication date

  • 2013