DNA Methylation–Targeted Drugs

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Targeting DNA hypermethylation, using nucleoside analogs, is an efficient approach to reprogram cancer cell epigenome leading to reduced proliferation, increased differentiation, recognition by the immune system, and ultimately cancer cell death. DNA methyltransferase inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, and acute myelogenous leukemia. To improve clinical efficacy and overcome mechanisms of drug resistance, a second generation of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors has been designed and is currently in clinical trials. Although efficient in monotherapy against hematologic malignancies, the potential of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors to synergize with small molecules targeting chromatin or immunotherapy will provide additional opportunities for their future clinical application against leukemia and solid tumors.

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