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Clin Epigenetics. 2010 Sep;1(1-2):45-54. doi: 10.1007/s13148-010-0007-1. Epub 2010 Jul 27.

Targeting the epigenome: effects of epigenetic treatment strategies on genomic stability in healthy human cells.

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  • 1Division of Immunotherapy and Gene Therapy, José Carreras Center for Immunotherapy and Gene Therapy, Department of Internal Medicine, Saarland University Medical Center, 66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.


Epigenetic treatment concepts have long been ascribed as being tumour-selective. Over the last decade, it has become evident that epigenetic mechanisms are essential for a wide range of intracellular functions in healthy cells as well. Evaluation of possible side-effects and their underlying mechanisms in healthy human cells is necessary in order to improve not only patient safety, but also to support future drug development. Since epigenetic regulation directly interacts with genomic and chromosomal packaging density, increasing genomic instability may be a result subsequent to drug-induced epigenetic modifications. This review highlights past and current research efforts on the influence of epigenetic modification on genomic stability in healthy human cells.

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