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Epigenetics application in the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer
Department of Urology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA
Oct 2015 (Vol. 22, Issue 5, Pages( 7947 - 7951)
PMID: 26432963

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  • INTRODUCTION: Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the Western world. Patients with bladder cancer require close monitoring, which may include frequent cystoscopy and urine cytology. Such monitoring results in significant health care cost. The application of epigenetics may allow for a risk adapted approach and more cost-effective method of monitoring. A number of epigenetic changes have been described for many cancer sites, including the urinary bladder. In this review, we discuss the use of epigenetics in bladder cancer and the potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive search of the English medical literature was conducted in PubMed using the terms microRNA regulation, DNA methylation, histone modification and bladder cancer. RESULTS: The most important epigenetic changes include DNA methylation, histone modification and microRNA regulation. Both DNA hypomethylation and hypermethylation have been associated with higher rate of cancer. The association of epigenetic changes with bladder cancer has led to the research of its diagnostic and prognostic implications as well as to the development of novel drugs to target these changes with the aim of achieving a survival benefit. CONCLUSIONS: Recently, epigenetics has been shown to play a much greater role than previously anticipated in the initiation and propagation of many tumors. The use of epigenetics for the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer is an evolving and promising field. The possibility of reversing epigenetic changes may facilitate additional cancer treatment options in the future.

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