Special Issue "Epigenetic DNA Modifications as Cancer Biomarkers"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andy Lynch
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Guest Editor
North Haugh, St Andrews, University of St. Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9AJ, UK
Dr. Charlie Massie
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Guest Editor
Early Detection Programme, CRUK Cambridge Centre, Cambridge, UK

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Epigenetic changes in cancer tissues, and their surrounding environments, have been often-reported in recent years. There may be a temptation to view such changes as little more than mechanistic regulators of gene expression, but they can also be biomarkers in the broadest sense of the word.

Modifications, such as DNA methylation, have a role to play in processes, such as:

  • defining sub-classes of disease at a molecular level,
  • providing targets for liquid biopsies or in-situ imaging,
  • physical markers of cell turnover and chromatin accessibility,
  • elucidating the life-history of disease,
  • and clarifying the interpretation of somatic mutation signatures in DNA

amongst others.

In addition, through regulation of transcription they can explain the biology behind many aspects of gene-expression-based biomarkers and counsel as to the bounds at which those biomarkers cease to be useful. Or through competition for metabolic resources they can inform about processes that are often at the heart of cancer biology.

This Special Issue is focused on studies relating to epigenetic DNA modifications in cancer, and in particular their use to make inference about other aspects of the disease, whether prognostic, retrospective or diagnostic.

We invite potential authors working actively in these fields to submit their original research, software, or review manuscripts. Papers making use of pre-existing data to gain new insights into cancer are particularly welcome.

Dr. Andy Lynch
Dr. Charlie Massie
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • DNA methylation
  • 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine
  • biomarkers
  • liquid biopsy
  • epigenetics

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Review

Review
Epigenetic Biomarkers in Cell-Free DNA and Applications in Liquid Biopsy
Genes 2019, 10(1), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes10010032 - 09 Jan 2019
Cited by 55 | Viewed by 4625
Abstract
Cell-free circulating DNA (cfDNA) in plasma has gained global interest as a diagnostic material for noninvasive prenatal testing and cancer diagnosis, or the so-called “liquid biopsy”. Recent studies have discovered a great number of valuable genetic and epigenetic biomarkers for cfDNA-based liquid biopsy. [...] Read more.
Cell-free circulating DNA (cfDNA) in plasma has gained global interest as a diagnostic material for noninvasive prenatal testing and cancer diagnosis, or the so-called “liquid biopsy”. Recent studies have discovered a great number of valuable genetic and epigenetic biomarkers for cfDNA-based liquid biopsy. Considering that the genetic biomarkers, e.g., somatic mutations, usually vary from case to case in most cancer patients, epigenetic biomarkers that are generalizable across various samples thus possess certain advantages. In this study, we reviewed the most recent studies and advances on utilizing epigenetic biomarkers for liquid biopsies. We first reviewed more traditional methods of using tissue/cancer-specific DNA methylation biomarkers and digital PCR or sequencing technologies for cancer diagnosis, as well as tumor origin determination. In the second part, we discussed the emerging novel approaches for exploring the biological basis and clinical applications of cfDNA fragmentation patterns. We further provided our comments and points of view on the future directions on epigenetic biomarker development for cfDNA-based liquid biopsies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic DNA Modifications as Cancer Biomarkers)
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