Molecular Oncology: Principles and Recent Advances

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Cancer is one of the major causes of death worldwide. Despite hundreds of clinical trials currently in progress for cancer patients, the success rate is still very low. Understanding the molecular ...
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Epigenetics of Cancer

Pp. 83-97 (15)

Claudia M. Garcia-Cuellar and Alfonso Duenas-Gonzalez


In most cancers, a number of epigenetic alterations occur during all stages of carcinogenesis. These include global DNA hypomethylation, hypermethylation of key tumor suppressor genes, and histone modifications. Unlike genetic alterations, which are almost impossible to reverse, epigenetic aberrations are potentially reversible, allowing the malignant cell population to revert to a more normal state. With the advent of numerous drugs that target specific enzymes involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression, the utilization of epigenetic targets is emerging as an effective and valuable approach to chemotherapy. This revision is an overview of general epigenetic aspects involved in cancer and the potential utilization of drugs with effects in epigenetic targets that could be useful in cancer therapy.


Epigenetics, chromatin, DNA methylation, histone modifications, histone deacetylases epigenetic therapy, Hydralazine.


Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, Subdireccion de Investigacion Basica, San Fernando No. 22, Tlalpan, 14080 Mexico City, Mexico.