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Novel Epigenetic Diagnostic Biomarker for Gastric Cancer


Invention Novelty

A novel epigenetic biomarker for gastric cancer to enable earlier diagnosis and subsequent intervention.

Value Proposition

Currently gastric cancer is diagnosed by tissue biopsies, which are invasive and can be inaccurate, often resulting in delayed diagnosis. This invention identified a gene that undergoes epigenetic modifications in gastric cancer and can be applied as a biomarker for diagnosis of gastric cancer. Other advantages include:

• Non-invasive, genomic DNA can be easily obtained from plasma or stool.
• Early diagnosis of gastric cancer, which can largely reduce gastric cancer mortality.
• Inexpensive and efficient, multiple patient samples can be tested simultaneously.
• Can be developed as a prognostic marker as well as a companion diagnostic to targeted therapies.
• Potential applications for other cancers can be explored.

Technical Details

Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a novel epigenetic biomarker for diagnosis of gastric cancer. Using microarray-based genome-wide screens several genes that are hypermethylated and coordinately down-regulated in gastric cancer cells were identified, the gene with the most distinguishable profile was selected for validation. Further validation studies showed that the gene undergoes profound epigenetic modifications in gastric cancer cell lines and tissues. Thus measuring the methylation status and expression level of this gene can be of great diagnostic value for gastric cancer.

Looking for Partners

To develop & commercialize the technology as diagnostic biomarker for gastric cancer as well as exploring its utility in prognosis and as a companion diagnostic to targeted therapeutics.

Stage of Development


Data Availability

Under CDA / NDA


Rachana Agarwal, Stephen Meltzer

Patent Status

WO 2014082067

Publications/Associated Cases

Not available at this time


Gastric cancer, epigenetics, hypermethylation, diagnostic, cancer, biomarker



Contact Information

Name: Laura Mitchell

Address: 100 North Charles Street
5th Floor

City: Baltimore

State: MD

Zip: 21201

Phone: 410-516-4969

Email: llinzmc1@jhmi.edu

Website: www.techtransfer.jhu.edu