Resistance of malignant cells to chemotherapy and molecularly targeted therapy is a major
roadblock in our effort to cure cancer. A variety of underlying mechanisms have been described, some
of which are shared between resistance to chemotherapy and resistance to molecularly targeted
therapy. Although the influence of genetic mutations in the development of drug resistance is beyond
question, many examples now support the contribution of epigenetic changes to drug resistance.
Several clinical trials are under way to explore the effectiveness of epigenetics-targeting drugs to
reverse or overcome resistance to cancer therapies. In addition to these strategies, we suggest a
complementary approach that could utilize epigenetics-targeting drugs to prevent drug resistance.
Keywords: Acquired drug resistance, drug refractory sub-populations, epigenetic therapy, preventing vs overcoming drug resistance.
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