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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2015 Dec 1;95:56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2015.10.006. Epub 2015 Oct 19.

Targeting cancer epigenetics: Linking basic biology to clinical medicine.

Author information

1
Department of Epigenomics, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1 Kawasumi, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan.
2
Department of Epigenomics, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1 Kawasumi, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan. Electronic address: ykondo@med.nagoya-cu.ac.jp.

Abstract

Recent studies provide compelling evidence that epigenetic dysregulation is involved in almost every step of tumor development and progression. Differences in tumor behavior, which ultimately reflects clinical outcome, can be explained by variations in gene expression patterns generated by epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation. Therefore, epigenetic abnormalities are considered potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. DNA methylation is stable at certain specific loci in cancer cells and predominantly reflects the characteristic clinicopathological features. Thus, it is an ideal biomarker for cancer screening, classification and prognostic purposes. Epigenetic treatment for cancers is based on the pharmacologic targeting of various core transcriptional programs that sustains cancer cell identity. Therefore, targeting aberrant epigenetic modifiers may be effective for multiple processes compared with using a selective inhibitor of aberrant single signaling pathway. This review provides an overview of the epigenetic alterations in human cancers and discusses about novel therapeutic strategies targeting epigenetic alterations.

KEYWORDS:

Biomarker; DNA methylation; Epigenetic therapy; Histone modification; Liquid biopsy

PMID:
26494398
DOI:
10.1016/j.addr.2015.10.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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