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Johns Hopkins scientists expose cancer cells' universal 'dark matter'
Date:6/26/2011

lls are supposed to be, like normal colon cells," Feinberg says.

"The same epigenetic malleability that permits human cells with the same DNA to become different tissue types during development also confers vulnerability," adds Rafael Irizarry, Ph.D., a professor of biostatistics in the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, who with Feinberg, led this study. "The epigenome has these regions where change is easy in order for some cells to become kidney and others, brain and spleen, for example, but that very vulnerability to change may ultimately lead to cancer. Targeting those regions might help the cells become more normal."

Because the new study also identifies regions of the genome that appear to control this epigenetic chaos, Feinberg and his team say it may prove potentially fruitful in revealing new targets for cancer therapy or prevention.


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Contact: Maryalice Yakutchik
myakutc1@jhmi.edu
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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