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Curr Opin Mol Ther. 2010 Jun;12(3):316-24.

Epigenetic signatures in cancer: Implications for the control of cancer in the clinic.

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  • 1International Agency for Research on Cancer, Epigenetics Group, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon Cedex 08, France.


Significant progress in the field of cancer epigenetics has enhanced the understanding of epigenetic mechanisms in cellular processes and in abnormal events involved in tumorigenesis. Many studies have investigated epigenetic alterations in cancer cells and have revealed that epigenetic deregulation is important for the development of malignancy. These studies have also demonstrated that epigenetic changes are present in almost every human cancer, and that different cancers may harbor a specific 'epigenetic signature', which can be used for cancer control. This review focuses on studies that have revealed the existence of specific epigenetic changes related to particular cancer types and associated risk-factor exposures, and how these epigenetic signatures may be exploited in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer.

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