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The emerging role of epigenetics in urological cancers
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA
Jun 2007 (Vol. 14, Issue 3, Pages( 3535 - 3541)
PMID: 17594743

Abstract

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  • DNA methylation and histone modifications constitute the common epigenetic modifications in vertebrate genomes. The epigenetic changes are early event in the cancer development and are reversible. Over the last decade, the field of epigenetics has made considerable progress both in the diagnosis and treatment of variety of malignancies. Novel epigenetic markers are being studied, which have the potential as sensitive diagnostic and prognostic markers. DNA methylation has been identified as a powerful diagnostic tool in classification, detection and risk assessment of cancers. As DNA methylation is reversible, inhibitors of DNA methyl transferases and histone deacteylases have been designed for use in treatment of a variety of urological malignancies. Variety of drugs targeting epigenetic changes are being studied, which can be effective individually or in combination with other conventional drugs used in cancer therapy. The emerging area of epigenetic therapy holds great promise for novel chemotherapeutic and chemoprevention approaches against cancer.

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canadian journal of urology