CpG island hypermethylation plays a key role in the silencing of cancer-related genes. In recent years, some new and effective methods have been developed for high-throughput analysis of DNA methylation, and have provided DNA methylation markers as powerful tools for the development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in cancer. In this review, we describe various current and emerging technologies for studying the DNA methylation profile in cancer including: the isoschizomers and gel-based methylation analysis, the microarray-based methylation analysis and the sequencing-based methylation analysis. All of these techniques have advantages and disadvantages, such as sensitivity, specificity, analysis scale and cost. In the coming years, newer platforms of low cost, high-throughput and greater expediency, and speed for cancer methylome analysis will be developed.
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