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, 2011, 902674

CpG Island Methylation in Colorectal Cancer: Past, Present and Future


CpG Island Methylation in Colorectal Cancer: Past, Present and Future

Karen Curtin et al. Patholog Res Int.


The concept of a CpG island methylator phenotype, or CIMP, quickly became the focus of several colorectal cancer studies describing its clinical and pathological features after its introduction in 1999 by Toyota and colleagues. Further characterization of CIMP in tumors lead to widespread acceptance of the concept, as expressed by Shen and Issa in their 2005 editorial, "CIMP, at last." Since that time, extensive research efforts have brought great insights into the epidemiology and prognosis of CIMP+ tumors and other epigenetic mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis. With the advances in technology and subsequent cataloging of the human methylome in cancer and normal tissue, new directions in research to understand CIMP and its role in complex biological systems yield hope for future epigenetically based diagnostics and treatments.


Figure 1
Figure 1
In colorectal cancer, CIMP+ occurs more frequently in tumors of the proximal colon (Figure 1(a)) and less frequently in tumors of the distal colon and rectum (Figure 1(b)). An approximate distribution of genetic and epigenetic tumor alterations is shown.
Figure 2
Figure 2
A decade of epigenetic research in colorectal cancer (CRC) has led to widespread recognition and acceptance of the CpG Island Methylator Phenotype.

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