Genetic alterations alone cannot account for the complexity of ovarian cancer. The potential reversibility of epigenetic mechanisms makes them attractive candidates for the prevention and/or treatment of ovarian carcinoma. Detection of the epigenetic signature of each cancer cell may be useful in the identification of candidate biomarkers for disease detection, classification and monitoring and may also facilitate personalized cancer treatment. In ovarian cancer, in addition to other non-gynaecological cancers, two opposite epigenetic phenomena occur. The first involves an overall global decrease in DNA methylation of heterochromatin leading to demethylation of several oncogenes, while the second involves specific CpG island hypermethylation associated with the promoters of tumor suppressor genes. Early studies focused on the methylation patterns of single genes associated with tumorigenesis. However, newer genome-wide methods have identified a group of genes whose regulation is altered by DNA methylation during ovarian cancer progression.
Koukoura, O., Spandidos, D. A., Daponte, A., & Sifakis, S. (2014). DNA methylation profiles in ovarian cancer: Implication in diagnosis and therapy (Review). Molecular Medicine Reports. Spandidos Publications. https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2014.2221