|Awarded On||November 16, 2016|
|Title||Developing Effective Epigenetic Biomarkers to Identify Individuals with High Risk of Cancer|
|Award Mechanism||Individual Investigator Research Awards for Prevention and Early Detection|
|Institution/Organization||Baylor College of Medicine|
|Principal Investigator/Program Director||Robert Waterland|
|Cancer Sites||Bladder, Breast, Colorectal, Kidney and Renal Pelvis, Lung and Bronchus, Lymphoma, Prostate|
In addition to family history, lifestyle, and genetics, stable mechanisms that regulate gene expression – termed epigenetics – hold promise for cancer risk assessment. In particular, DNA methylation is a stable epigenetic mark important in cancer. However, because DNA methylation can vary across different cell types, studying easily obtainable cells like blood is not always useful. To overcome this obstacle we pioneered the discovery of human genomic regions called ‘metastable epialleles’, at which individual variation in DNA methylation is stable across different cell types. We have identified a subset of human metastable epialleles involved in cancer, and our preliminary data show that we...