Colorectal Cancer
Copyright ©2008 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Jan 28, 2008; 14(4): 524-531
Published online Jan 28, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.524
Hypermethylated SFRP2 gene in fecal DNA is a high potential biomarker for colorectal cancer noninvasive screening
Dao-Rong Wang, Dong Tang
Dao-Rong Wang, Dong Tang, Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225001, Jiangsu Province, China
Correspondence to: Dao-Rong Wang, PhD, MD, Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225001, Jiangsu Province, China.
Telephone: +86-13905252590
Fax: +86-514-7937405
Received: June 15, 2007
Revised: July 9, 2007
Published online: January 28, 2008

AIM: To investigate the feasibility of detecting hypermethylated secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2) gene in fecal DNA as a non-invasive screening tool for colorectal cancer (CRC).

METHODS: Fluorescence-based real-time PCR assay (MethyLight) was performed to analyze SFRP2 gene promoter methylation status in a blinded fashion in tumor tissues and in stool samples taken from 69 CRC patients preoperatively and at the 9th postoperative day, 34 patients with adenoma ≥ 1 cm, 26 with hyperplastic polyp, and 30 endoscopically normal subjects. Simultaneously the relationship between hypermethylation of SFRP2 gene and clinicopathological features was analyzed.

RESULTS: SFRP2 gene was hypermethylated in 91.3% (63/69) CRC, 79.4% (27/34) and 53.8% (14/26) adenoma and hyperplastic polyp tissues, and in 87.0% (60/69), 61.8% (21/34) and 42.3% (11/26) of corresponding fecal samples, respectively. In contrast, no methylated SFRP2 gene was detected in mucosal tissues of normal controls, while two cases of matched fecal samples from normal controls were detected with hypermethylated SFRP2. A significant decrease (P < 0.001) in the rate of hypermethylated SFRP2 gene was detected in the postoperative (8.7%, 6/69) fecal samples as compared with the preoperative fecal samples (87%, 60/69) of CRC patients. Moreover, no significant associations were observed between SFRP2 hypermethylation and clinicopathological features including sex, age, tumor stage, site, lymph node status and histological grade, etc.

CONCLUSION: Hypermethylation of SFRP2 gene in fecal DNA is a novel molecular biomarker of CRC and carries a high potential for the remote detection of CRC and premalignant lesions as noninvasive screening method.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer, Secreted frizzled-related protein 2, Feces, Methylation, Screening