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Pharmaco-Epigenomics to Improve Cancer Therapies

  1. Bart Claes1,2,
  2. Bernard Siebens1,2,
  3. Diether Lambrechts1,2

Published Online: 15 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.201100026

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Claes, B., Siebens, B. and Lambrechts, D. 2012. Pharmaco-Epigenomics to Improve Cancer Therapies. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    VIB, Vesalius Research Center, Leuven, Belgium

  2. 2

    KU Leuven Campus Gasthuisberg, Vesalius Research Center, Leuven, Belgium

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAY 2012

Abstract

Epigenetic modifications such as aberrant DNA methylation or altered histone modifications play an important role in tumor development and progression. Consequently, therapeutic strategies aimed at reversing epigenetic changes in cancer cells have been developed, and their great promise confirmed in recent studies. Epigenetic modifications can also be used as biomarkers to improve cancer diagnosis or to predict disease prognosis. Importantly, the first examples of how epigenetic alterations can be used as predictive markers for the outcome of conventional chemotherapies or targeted therapies have recently emerged. In this chapter, the recent advances in the field of pharmaco-epigenomics will be highlighted, and a review included of the most recently discovered and promising epigenetic therapies and biomarkers aimed at improving cancer diagnosis and treatment. In particular, attention will be focused on how these epigenetic therapies or biomarkers might change daily clinical practice.

Keywords:

  • Epigenomics;
  • Pharmaco-epigenomics;
  • DNA methylation;
  • Histone modifications;
  • Cancer therapy;
  • Angiogenesis