Table of Contents
Pathology Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 902674, 8 pages
Review Article

CpG Island Methylation in Colorectal Cancer: Past, Present and Future

1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
2Department of Pathology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA

Received 11 November 2010; Revised 13 January 2011; Accepted 26 January 2011

Academic Editor: Alyssa M. Krasinskas

Copyright © 2011 Karen Curtin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The concept of a CpG island methylator phenotype, or CIMP, quickly became the focus of several colorectal cancer studies describing its clinical and pathological features after its introduction in 1999 by Toyota and colleagues. Further characterization of CIMP in tumors lead to widespread acceptance of the concept, as expressed by Shen and Issa in their 2005 editorial, “CIMP, at last.” Since that time, extensive research efforts have brought great insights into the epidemiology and prognosis of CIMP+ tumors and other epigenetic mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis. With the advances in technology and subsequent cataloging of the human methylome in cancer and normal tissue, new directions in research to understand CIMP and its role in complex biological systems yield hope for future epigenetically based diagnostics and treatments.