Background: It remains important to understand the biology and identify biomarkers for less studied cancers like testicular cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine the methylation frequency of several cancer-related genes in different histological types of testicular cancer and normal testis tissues (NT).
Methods: DNA was isolated from 43 seminomas (SEs), 14 non-SEs (NSEs) and 23 NT, and was assayed for promoter methylation status of 15 genes by quantitative methylation-specific PCR. The methylation status was evaluated for an association with cancer, and between SEs and NSEs.
Results: We found differential methylation pattern in SEs and NSEs. MGMT, VGF, ER-β and FKBP4 were predominately methylated in NSEs compared with SEs. APC and hMLH1 are shown to be significantly more methylated in both subtypes in comparison with NT. When combining APC, hMLH1, ER-β and FKBP4, it is possible to identify 86% of the NSEs, whereas only 7% of the SEs.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that the methylation profile of cancer-associated genes in testicular cancer correlates with histological types and show cancer-specific pattern for certain genes. Further methylation analysis, in a larger cohort is needed to elucidate their role in testicular cancer development and potential for therapy, early detection and disease monitoring.