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Identification of methylated genes in preneoplastic mammary lesions as potential biomarkers and chemopreventive targets in invasive breast cancer

Flat epithelial atypia (FEA)

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women worldwide. Hypermethylation and other epigenetic changes have been shown to occur early in carcinogenesis, and are currently considered as a rare but potentially cancer initiating event.

Therefore, the aim of our project is to clarify the role of DNA methylation events in the initiation of breast cancer and to identify potentially valuable biomarkers for early detection and chemoprevention.

Atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH)

  • Our first objective is to perform a genome-wide scan for aberrantly methylated genomic regions by using a combination of methyl-CpG immunoprecipitation (MCIp) and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH).

  • Subsequently, we focus on the identified regions and assess their potential application as biomarkers and targets of prevention strategies.

  • We quantitatively investigate DNA methylation of target regions in a broad panel of samples covering early stages of breast carcinogenesis.

  • Our analyses are based on the MassARRAY system, which applies mass spectrometry for a quantitative assessment of DNA methylation.

  • Most promising genes will be selected and functionally analyzed and assessed for their role in cancer initiation and progression.

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