Prostate Cancer Methylation

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a number of prostate cancer susceptibility variants associated with coding regions of genes. However, these studies have also identified many DNA sequence changes or mutations which are not associated with the coding-regions of genes, and the mechanisms of association of these sequence changes with disease are therefore unclear. We hypothesize that at least some of these changes are in the regulatory regions of genes and act as seeding sites for epigenetic changes that alter gene expression and thereby contribute to prostate cancer development and progression.

The overall objective of this study is to determine whether DNA sequence changes in non-coding regions of the genome are likely to contribute to prostate cancer by initiating epigenetic changes and gene silencing. It is well established that family history of disease is a strong risk factor for prostate cancer. We will therefore utilise samples collected in the Tasmanian Familial Prostate Cancer Genetics Study to identify epigenetic changes associated with genetic alterations that may predispose individual to the development of prostate cancer.

The aims are to:

  1. Identify epigenetic changes associated with prostate cancer,
  2. Determine whether epigenetic changes in prostate cancer are specified by heritable DNA sequence changes

Research Groups

Related Diseases


Team Leaders

  • Dr Jac Charlesworth
  • Associate Professor Joanne Dickinson
  • Dr Adele Holloway