Epigenetic biomarkers in the blood of patients with urological malignancies

Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2015 Apr;15(4):505-16. doi: 10.1586/14737159.2015.1019477. Epub 2015 Feb 26.


In the era of personalized medicine, there is an urgent need for non-invasive biomarkers to optimize the individual treatment of cancer patients. Epigenetic alterations, including DNA methylation and non-coding RNAs, are a hallmark of malignant tumors. The detection of many of these epigenetic conditions is feasible in bodily fluids, that is, blood plasma and serum, and may therefore be used for liquid biopsy. In this review, we summarize and discuss the current state of research on circulating epigenetic alterations (DNA methylation, miRNA and long non-coding RNA) in serum and plasma of patients with bladder cancer, prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma and testicular germ cell cancer.

Keywords: DNA methylation; biomarker; bladder cancer; body fluids; liquid biopsy; lncRNA; miRNA; prostate cancer; renal cell carcinoma; testicular cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Epigenomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / blood
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / blood
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • Urologic Neoplasms / blood
  • Urologic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Urologic Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding