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Keywords:

  • hypermethylation;
  • esophageal cancer;
  • gastric cancer;
  • carcinogenesis;
  • early detection;
  • CIMP;
  • microsatellite instability;
  • H. pylori

Abstract

The upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers have various carcinogenic pathways and precursor lesions, such as dysplasia for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, Barrett esophagus for esophageal adenocarcinoma, and intestinal metaplasia for the intestinal-type of gastric cancer. Recently, many epigenetic events in carcinogenic pathways have been revealed, along with genomic and genetic alterations. This information has provided deeper insight into an understanding of the mechanisms of upper GI carcinogenesis. Moreover, detection methods of aberrant methylation have been applied to clinical fields to stratify high-risk groups, detect early cancer, and to predict clinical outcomes. In this review, a variety of information is summarized regarding gene hypermethylation in esophageal and gastric cancer. Cancer 2006. © 2005 American Cancer Society.