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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.638

CiteScore 2018: 2.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.191
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.205

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Volume 50, Issue 10


DNA methylation biomarkers in biological fluids for early detection of respiratory tract cancer

Soultana Markopoulou
  • Department of Microbiology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Medical School, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Georgios Nikolaidis
  • Institute of Translational Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Triantafillos Liloglou
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Translational Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2012-07-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2012-0124


Cancers of the respiratory tract (lung and head and neck) share common aetiologies, risk factors and molecular characteristics. Epigenetic reprogramming is one of the hallmarks of cancer and DNA methylation is currently the best-studied form. There are a number of characteristics of DNA methylation, which seem advantageous in biomarker development. Early detection is still an unmet clinical care need, which guarantees to significantly reduce the mortality of patients with respiratory cancers. The application of such biomarkers in biological fluids being sampled in everyday clinical practice is a long-term demand. In this review we summarise the current literature on DNA methylation detection in bronchial washings, sputum, saliva, plasma and serum and discuss the potential of their clinical implementation. We also discuss important aspects of biomarker development and validation pointing to the appropriate route for a biomarker to reach clinical standards.

Keywords: biomarkers; DNA methylation; lung cancer; oral cancer

About the article

Soultana Markopoulou

Soultana Markopoulou received her BSc (Hons) in Genetics from the University of Liverpool, her MSc in Biotechnology from Liverpool John-Moores University and her PhD in Molecular Physiology from the University of Ioannina Medical School. Her postdoctoral training included a fellowship at the Biomarkers Group at the Liverpool CR-UK Centre where she focused on developing quantitative real-time PCR-based methods to measure abnormal DNA methylation in sputum specimens. Her main research interests are in molecular oncology and its translational potential.

Georgios Nikolaidis

Georgios Nikolaidis studied Biochemistry (BSc Hons) at Coventry University and received his MSc in Industrial Biotechnology from Liverpool John Moores University. He worked as research technician in the Liverpool Lung Project as a member of the Biomarkers Group. He has subsequently undertaken his PhD at the University of Liverpool in the area of epigenetics. His research focuses on DNA methylation biomarker development for early lung cancer detection.

Triantafillos Liloglou

Triantafillos Liloglou received his BSc (Hons) in Biology from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki and his PhD in molecular oncology from the University of Crete Medical School. After his post-doctoral training at the University of Liverpool he became a group leader at the time he joined the Liverpool Lung Project in 1998. His research interests are in genetic and epigenetic instability in cancers of the respiratory tract. His research is largely focused on biomarker discovery and validation in order to assist clinical management of respiratory cancer; in particular early detection and therapeutic stratification. Dr. Liloglou is currently a lecturer at the University of Liverpool, Department of Molecular & Clinical Cancer Medicine and a Biomarkers Group leader at the Liverpool CR-UK Centre.

Corresponding author: Dr. Triantafillos Liloglou, University of Liverpool, Cancer Research Centre, 200 London Road, Liverpool L3 9TA, UK Phone: +44 151 7948958, Fax: +44 151 7948989

Received: 2012-02-29

Accepted: 2012-06-10

Published Online: 2012-07-12

Published in Print: 2012-10-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Volume 50, Issue 10, Pages 1723–1731, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2012-0124.

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