Research Papers:

Alu methylation serves as a biomarker for non-invasive diagnosis of glioma

Jian Chen _, Wei Huan, Hao Zuo, Longxiang Zhao, Chuanjun Huang, Xiaojiang Liu, Shiqiang Hou, Jing Qi and Wei Shi

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:26099-26106. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8318

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Jian Chen1,*, Wei Huan2,*, Hao Zuo2, Longxiang Zhao2, Chuanjun Huang2, Xiaojiang Liu2, Shiqiang Hou2, Jing Qi2, Wei Shi1,2

1Department of Neurological Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China

2Comprehensive Surgical Laboratory, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Wei Shi, e-mail: [email protected]

Jing Qi, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: glioma, cell-free DNA, Alu, methylation, liquid chip

Received: July 23, 2015     Accepted: March 04, 2016     Published: March 23, 2016


Current techniques for diagnosing glioma are invasive and do not accurately predict prognosis. We developed a novel, non-invasive liquid chip assay to diagnose glioma and predict prognosis. Using this method, we determined the methylation state of the Alu element in cell-free DNA extracted from the serum of 109 glioma patients. Controls included 56 patients with benign intracranial tumors and 50 healthy subjects. Matched tumor tissues were processed for 36 patients. The cfDNA from glioma patients showed lower levels of Alu methylation than the controls (P<0.01). Alu methylation was also lower in high-grade than low-grade gliomas (P<0.01), indicating that Alu methylation correlates negatively with disease severity. Moreover, Alu methylation correlated positively with survival (P<0.01). These findings suggest high-throughput liquid chip could serve as a non-invasive diagnostic assay for glioma.

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