Aberrant promoter hypermethylation of several known or putative tumor suppressor genes occurs frequently during the pathogenesis of human cancers and is a promising marker for cancer detection. We investigated the feasibility of detecting aberrant DNA methylation in the urine and serum samples of renal cancer patients. We examined the tumor and the matched urine and serum DNA for aberrant methylation of nine gene promoters (CDH1, APC, MGMT, RASSF1A, GSTP1, p16, RAR-β2, and ARF) from 17 patients with primary kidney cancer by quantitative fluorogenic real-time PCR. An additional 9 urine samples (total, 26) and 1 serum sample (total, 18) also were tested from renal cancer patients. Urine from 91 patients without genitourinary cancer and serum from 30 age-matched noncancer individuals were used as controls. Promoter hypermethylation of at least two of the genes studied was detected in 16 (94%) of 17 primary tumors. Aberrant methylation in urine and serum DNA generally was accompanied by methylation in the matched tumor samples. Urine samples from 91 control subjects without evidence of genitourinary cancer revealed no methylation of the MGMT, GSTP1, p16, and ARF genes, whereas methylation of RAR-β2, RASSF1A, CDH1, APC, and TIMP3 was detected at low levels in a few control subjects. Overall, 23 (88%) of 26 urine samples and 12 (67%) of 18 serum samples from cancer patients were methylation positive for at least one of the genes tested. By combination of urine or serum analysis of renal cancer patients, hypermethylation was detected in 16 of 17 patients (94% sensitivity) with high specificity. Our findings suggest that promoter hypermethylation in urine or serum can be detected in the majority of renal cancer patients. This noninvasive high-throughput approach needs to be evaluated in large studies to assess its value in the early detection and surveillance of renal cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research