Epigenetic field cancerization in gastrointestinal cancers

Yoshifumi Baba, Takatsugu Ishimoto, Junji Kurashige, Masaaki Iwatsuki, Yasuo Sakamoto, Naoya Yoshida, Masayuki Watanabe, Hideo Baba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Epigenetic alterations, including aberrant DNA methylation, play an important role in human cancer development. Importantly, epigenetic alterations are reversible and can be targets for therapy or chemoprevention for various types of human cancers. A field for cancerization, or a field defect, is formed by the accumulation of genetic and/or epigenetic alterations in normal-appearing tissues and can correlate with risk of cancer development. Thus, a better understanding of epigenetic field cancerization may represent a useful translational opportunity for cancer risk assessment, including previous history and exposure to carcinogenic factors, and for cancer prevention. In this article, we summarize current knowledge regarding epigenetic field cancerization and its clinical implications in gastrointestinal cancers, including colorectal cancer, gastric cancer and esophageal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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