Characterizing epigenetic changes in cancer

Methods for cancer epigenetics studies provide insight into tumorigenic pathways and cancer progression

Cancer Epigenetics

Studies of epigenetic alterations in cancer, such as aberrant methylation and altered transcription factor binding, can provide insight into important tumorigenic pathways. As altered methylation often activates or silences genes, changes in the epigenome can affect gene expression and the rate of cancer progression.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray technologies can detect altered methylation patterns and other epigenetic changes in cancer. Illumina works with cancer epigenetics experts to ensure its NGS and array solutions meet the field's rapidly evolving needs.

cancer epigenetics illustration

Aberrant methylation is a common epigenetic alteration in cancer. NGS enables researchers to identify and compare methylation in cancer vs. normal cells, and gain insight into methylation patterns at a single nucleotide level.

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Tracking Tumor Evolution

Dr. Christopher Mason describes how tumor evolution can be tracked by sequencing the transcriptome, epigenome, and epitranscriptome.

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Methylation arrays enable epigenome-wide association studies that can analyze multiple cancer samples in parallel. Arrays quantitatively interrogate methylation sites across the genome, providing researchers with insight into the regulation of cancer-related genes and pathways.

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Study Reveals Decreased Average Methylation Levels Years Before Breast Cancer Diagnosis

A study of pre-diagnostic blood samples identifies epigenome-wide hypomethylation changes that may predict breast cancer risk.

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Featured Cancer Epigenetics Research

Glioma sample
NGS and Methylation Arrays for Brain Tumor Studies

Se Hoon Kim, MD, PhD explains how combining NGS panels with methylation microarrays can deliver value in tumor characterization for clinical research.

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Mysteries of Metastasis Article
Methylation and Metastasis

Researchers investigate the epigenetics behind cancer development and metastasis using methylation microarrays and NGS.

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Tobacco leaves
The Genetic Basis of Oral Cancer

Researchers identify genomic alterations associated with a deadly oral cancer, including somatic and germline variants as well as changes in promoter methylation and transcription.

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Altered transcription factor binding is another common epigenetic change linked to cancer. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq) can provide a genome-wide snapshot of DNA-associated protein activity in cancer vs. normal cells.

The method offers hypothesis-free insights into the regulation of gene expression. Deep sequencing enables detection of lower-abundance protein-DNA interactions often observed with transcription factors.

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Sequencing the Cancer Epigenome

In episode 49 of the Illumina Genomics Podcast, Dr. Susan Clark discusses the role of epigenetics in cancer and human biology.

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Surveying the Chromatin Landscape with NGS

A method that maps open chromatin regions helps researchers gain a better understanding of the epigenome and its impact on cancer and autoimmune diseases.

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Surveying the Chromatin Landscape Article
Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip Kit
  • Microarray featuring expert-selected content
  • Coverage of > 850,000 methylation sites per sample at single-nucleotide resolution
  • FFPE compatibility
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iScan Array Scanner
  • High sample throughput
  • Flexibility for multiple applications
  • High data quality
  • Automation compatibility
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TruSeq Methyl Capture EPIC Library Prep Kit
  • Targeted methylation sequencing
  • Targets over 3.3 million CpGs. Interrogates biologically important methylome targets.
  • 500 ng human genomic DNA input
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Racial variation in breast tumor promoter methylation in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study

Researchers use an Illumina methylation array on tumor and PBLs to identify differences in breast tumor development between African American and non-African American women.

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Medulloblastoma subgroups remain stable across primary and metastatic compartments

A methylation fingerprint is used to stratify medulloblastoma subgroups for improved characterization.

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Prostate cancer epigenetic biomarkers: next-generation technologies

A review of recent epigenetic discoveries in prostate cancer, highlighting their potential as biomarkers for diagnosis, segmentation, and monitoring.

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Field Guide to Methylation Methods

This overview of array- and sequencing-based methylation methods provides a useful resource for cancer epigenetics studies.

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Methylation Researcher
DNA Methylation Analysis

Compare methylation sequencing and microarray approaches, and determine the best strategy for your research.

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