Table 2.

Examples of the types of biospecimens examined in published cancer epidemiology studies of epigenetics, 2005–2012

BiospecimensExamples of types of cancer studied (all involved methylation marks unless noted in parentheses)
BloodBladder cancer (43), breast cancer (44, 45), cervical cancer (46), colon cancer (47), esophageal cancer (miRNA profile; ref. 48), gastric cancer (49), head and neck cancer (50), leukemia (51), liver cancer (52), liver cancer (miRNA profile; ref. 53), lung cancer (54), prostate cancer (55), and renal cancer (56)
Duodenal secretionPancreatic cancer (57)
Exfoliated cells from oral rinseHead and neck cancer (58)
Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissuesLung cancer (histone modifications; ref. 59), prostate cancer (59, 60), rectal cancer (61), and renal cancer (histone modifications; ref. 59)
Pancreatic secretionPancreatic cancer (62)
Salivary rinseLung cancer (63)
SputumLung cancer (64, 65)
Tumor tissueBladder cancer (66), brain cancer (miRNA profiling; ref. 67), breast cancer (68), colon cancer (69, 70), esophageal cancer (71), gastric cancer (72), glioblastoma (73), head and neck cancer (74), laryngeal and hypolaryngeal cancer (75), liver cancer (76), lung cancer (59, 77, 78), neuroblastoma (79), oral cancer (80), ovarian cancer (81, 82), pancreatic cancer (57, 83), prostate cancer (59, 84), rectal cancer (85), and renal cancer (59, 86)
UrineBladder cancer (87), prostate cancer (88, 89)
Uterine/cervix swabCervical cancer (46)