The cancer epigenome: Concepts, challenges, and therapeutic opportunities

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Abstract

Cancer biology is profoundly influenced by changes in the epigenome. Because the dynamic plasticity of the epigenome lends itself well to therapeutic manipulation, the past few years have witnessed an unprecedented investment in the development, characterization, and translation of targeted epigenetic therapies. In this review, I provide a broad context for recent developments that offer a greater understanding of how epigenetic regulators facilitate the initiation, maintenance, and evolution of cancer. I discuss newly developed epigenetic therapies and the cellular and molecular mechanisms that may govern sensitivity and resistance to these agents. I also review the rationale for future combination therapies involving existing and emerging epigenetic drugs.

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