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Int J Cancer. 2013 Mar 15;132(6):1240-8. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27963. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Cellular reprogramming and cancer development.

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  • 1Department of Reprogramming Science, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


Cancer develops through the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities. The role of genetic alterations in cancer development has been demonstrated by reverse genetic approaches. However, evidence indicating the functional significance of epigenetic abnormalities remains limited due to the lack of means to actively modify coordinated epigenetic regulations in the genome. Application of the reprogramming technology may help researchers to overcome this limitation and shed new light on cancer research. Reprogramming is accompanied by dynamic changes of epigenetic modifications and is therefore considered to be a useful tool to induce global epigenetic changes in cancer genomes. We herein discuss the similarities between reprogramming processes and carcinogenesis and propose the potential use of reprogramming technology to help understanding of the significance of epigenetic regulations in cancer cells. We, also discuss the application of induced pluripotent stem cell technology to cancer modeling based on the similar characteristics between pluripotent stem cells and cancer cells.

Copyright © 2012 UICC.

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