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Targeting the cancer epigenome for therapy

Targeting the cancer epigenome for therapy Tumour cells often have mutations in genes that encode regulators of the epigenome. Cancers use both genetic and epigenetic alterations to evolve and develop resistance to immune surveillance and chemotherapy. DNA methylation inhibitors are the standard of care for certain haematological malignancies and form the backbones of many trials in solid tumours. Several new drugs that target histone modifications are being tested in clinical trials. DNA methylation inhibitors activate not only abnormally silenced genes, but also cancer testis antigens (CTAs) and endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). Activation of CTAs and ERVs may increase the visibility of the tumour to the immune system and increase the efficacy of immunotherapy. Therapies that combine epigenetic drugs and standard chemotherapy will become important clinical tools in the future. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Reviews Genetics Springer Journals

Targeting the cancer epigenome for therapy

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References (156)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Subject
Biomedicine; Biomedicine, general; Human Genetics; Cancer Research; Agriculture; Gene Function; Animal Genetics and Genomics
ISSN
1471-0056
eISSN
1471-0064
DOI
10.1038/nrg.2016.93
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Tumour cells often have mutations in genes that encode regulators of the epigenome. Cancers use both genetic and epigenetic alterations to evolve and develop resistance to immune surveillance and chemotherapy. DNA methylation inhibitors are the standard of care for certain haematological malignancies and form the backbones of many trials in solid tumours. Several new drugs that target histone modifications are being tested in clinical trials. DNA methylation inhibitors activate not only abnormally silenced genes, but also cancer testis antigens (CTAs) and endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). Activation of CTAs and ERVs may increase the visibility of the tumour to the immune system and increase the efficacy of immunotherapy. Therapies that combine epigenetic drugs and standard chemotherapy will become important clinical tools in the future.

Journal

Nature Reviews GeneticsSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 15, 2016

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