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Association of promoter methylation with histologic type and pleural indentation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Meiju Ji1, Yong Zhang2, Bingyin Shi1 and Peng Hou1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University College of Medicine, Xi'an 710061, the People's Republic of China

2 Department of Pathology, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang 110001, the People's Republic of China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6:48  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-48

Published: 4 June 2011



Lung cancer is a major cause of death worldwide. Gene promoter methylation is a major inactivation mechanism of tumor-related genes, some of which can be served as a biomarker for early diagnosis and prognosis evaluation of lung cancer.


We determined the promoter methylation of 6 genes using quantitative methylation-specific PCR (Q-MSP) technique in 96 clinically well-characterized non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Highly frequent promoter methylation was found in NSCLC. With 100% diagnostic specificity, high sensitivity, ranging from 44.9 to 84.1%, was found for each of the 6 genes. Our data also showed that promoter methylation was closely associated with histologic type. Most of genes were more frequently methylated in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) compared to adenocarcinomas (ADC). Moreover, promoter methylation significantly increased the risk of pleural indentation in NSCLC.


Our findings provided evidences that multiple genes were aberrantly methylated in lung tumorigenesis, and demonstrated the promoter methylation was closely associated with clinicopathologic characteristics of NSCLC. More importantly, we first revealed promoter methylation may be served as a potentially increased risk factor for pleural indentation of NSCLC patients.