Published online Feb 12, 2018. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v7.i1.1
Peer-review started: October 6, 2017
First decision: November 7, 2017
Revised: November 8, 2017
Accepted: December 6, 2017
Article in press: December 6, 2017
Published online: February 12, 2018
Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women worldwide, particularly in developing countries. Human papillomavirus has been reported as one of the key etiologic factors in cervical carcinoma. Likewise, epigenetic aberrations have ability to regulate cancer pathogenesis and progression. Recent research suggested that methylation has been detected already at precancerous stages, which methylation markers may have significant value in cervical cancer screening. The retinoic acid receptor beta (RARβ) gene, a potential tumor suppressor gene, is usually expressed in normal epithelial tissue. Methylation of CpG islands in the promoter region of the RARβ gene has been found to be associated with the development of cervical cancer. To investigate whether RARβ methylation is a potential biomarker that predicts the progression of invasive cancer, we reviewed 14 previously published articles related to RARβ methylation. The majority of them demonstrated that the frequency of RARβ promoter methylation was significantly correlated with the severity of cervical epithelium abnormalities. However, methylation of a single gene may not represent the best approach for predicting disease prognosis. Analyzing combinations of aberrant methylation of multiple genes may increase the sensitivity, and thus this approach may serve as a better tool for predicting disease prognosis.
Core tip: The frequency of retinoic acid receptor beta promoter methylation was significantly correlated with the severity of cervical epithelium abnormalities. However, a single gene may not represent the best approach for predicting disease prognosis. Thus, combinations of aberrant methylation of multiple genes may as a better tool for predicting disease.