Aim: To determine the presence of RASSF1A promoter methylation in tumorous and non-tumorous tissues of breast cancer.
Methods: Methylation-specific PCR was used to detect RASSF1A methylation in DNA extracted from tumorous and paired non-tumorous tissues of 40 breast cancer patients. The associations of RASSF1A hypermethylation with clinicopathological characteristics in tumorous and non-tumorous breast tissues were analysed.
Results: RASSF1A promoter hypermethylation was detected in 38 of the 40 breast cancer tissues (95%) and 37 of the paired non-tumorous tissues (92.5%). When compared with the non-tumorous tissues, aberrant methylation was detected to be higher in 24 of the tumorous tissues (60%). The latter was found to be associated with lower histological grade tumours (p=0.048).
Conclusion: RASSF1A promoter hypermethylation occurred at a high frequency in breast cancer tumorous and non-tumorous tissues; the majority of tumours have a higher level of methylation status when compared with non-tumorous tissues. This supports the notion that RASSF1A methylation is an early and premalignant alteration.