Navigation Links
BUSM authors propose potential epigenetic mechanisms for improved cancer therapy
Date:2/19/2013

(Boston) A review article by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) proposes a new epigenetic hypothesis linked to tumor production and novel ideas about what causes progenitor cells to develop into cancer cells. Published in the February 2013 issue of Epigenomics, the article provides examples of how epigenetic drug treatments could be beneficial in treating cancers while also decreasing the likelihood of cancer relapse.

The article was written by researchers at the Boston University Cancer Center. Sibaji Sarkar, PhD, adjunct instructor of medicine at BUSM, is the article's corresponding author.

Cancer is a complex disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth, division and invasion into other tissues. A 2004 review article published in Nature Medicine suggests that epigenetics, which is the phenomena whereby genetically identical cells express their genes differently resulting in different phenotypes and other factors play an important role in the formation of cancer originating from cancer stem cells.

Sarkar and colleagues propose that epigenetic processes, specifically DNA methylation, may trigger cancer progenitor cell formation from somatic cells in coordination with other cellular and environmental events. DNA methylation is a process that changes the DNA and causes genes to be silenced. In the absence of definitive proof of the existence of cancer stem cells, this hypothesis discusses a possible explanation for the formation and existence of cells that may develop into cancer. The researchers also explore why only some individuals develop cancer, despite identical genetic predispositions.

In cancer cells, the enzyme that maintains high levels of methylation in tumor suppressor genes is highly expressed, allowing uncontrolled growth. At the same time, many oncogenes, or genes with the potential to cause cancer, are activated and have lower levels of methylation. The apparent anomaly of the existence of both low and high rates of methylation could be explained with either the compartmentalization of these two processes and/or by the existence of both a methylation and demethylation system operating simultaneously at specific locations with the help of various accessory proteins.

The authors hypothesize the existence of both DNA methylating and demethylating enzymes in cells that regulate the methylation and demethylation process. Accessory proteins and/or small RNA factors could lead these enzymes to their sites of actions, resulting in some genes remaining methylated and others not methylated simultaneously within the same cellular environment. DNA sequences around the regions that are methylated and demethylated may also play role in these events. During drug treatments, the demethylating system dominates while the methylating enzyme is down-regulated, resulting in re-expression of silenced genes.

Recent studies have shown that epigenetic drug treatments prior to and with standard chemotherapy reduce the chance of cancer relapse.

"Progenitors are known to cause cancer relapse, and because epigenetic drugs can help destroy progenitor cells, these drugs could help reduce the chance of cancer relapse and improve the long-term outcomes of people with cancer," said Sarkar. "While our hypotheses are based on current knowledge, we are proposing important and exciting areas to be explored in the future."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jenny Eriksen Leary
jenny.eriksen@bmc.org
617-638-6841
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Jeffrey W. Olin, DO, authors study that describes symptoms and severity of fibromuscular dysplasia
2. Elsevier congratulates its British Medical Association award winning medical authors and editors
3. Authors of landmark study on infant mortality and electronic medical records receive Garfield Award
4. Dr. Marcelo Lancman, Medical Director of the Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group (NEREG) of New York and New Jersey Authors Book on New Epilepsy for Patients and Loved Ones
5. People can Achieve New Year’s Resolutions and Avoid Self-Sabotage -- so say Authors Tanya Chernova and Joanna Andros in UNDERMIND, from Indigo River Publishing
6. Holistic Family Doctor Authors Amazon Bestselling Book in Response to ObamaCare
7. IADR/AADR publish studies on severe early childhood caries - proposes new classification
8. Proposed testosterone testing of some female olympians challenged by Stanford scientists
9. EPA Proposes New Cuts on Levels of Soot in Air
10. Proposed drug may reverse Huntingtons disease symptoms
11. The hidden disorder: Unique treatment proposed for childrens neurological disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/23/2017)... ... July 23, 2017 , ... Better education to ... researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports ... the first one to prospectively document the association between sports specialization and lower ...
(Date:7/23/2017)... ... ... “Squiggy’s Outdoor Adventure”: a turtle’s backyard adventure that teaches the importance of ... Christian, a wife and mother to three amazing, and supportive, children. Paula lives ... God. She loves to tell stories to her children, play board games, bake, ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... "As a doctor of lung medicine managing chest diseases ... the market," said an inventor from Center Valley, Pa. "My idea is to improve ... He developed the patent-pending PLEURAL SAFE-t-STAT CATHETER KIT to offer an efficient means of ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... The Karen Miller Agency, a ... in the greater Birmingham area, is joining the Chris Hammond Youth Foundation in ... the region. , The Chris Hammond Youth Foundation maintains athletic facilities in rural ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... , ... Bernard R. Bach, Jr., MD, orthopaedic surgeon at Rush University Medical ... Sports Medicine (AOSSM) , received the 2017 Robert E. Leach Sports Medicine Leadership award ... prestigious award is given annually to honor those who have made a significant contribution ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/10/2017)... , July 10, 2017  The tenth annual ... Boston, MA at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, ... unparalleled access to global decision makers and innovative biotech ... life science leaders during two impactful days. BioPharm America ... delegates with additional networking opportunities with 4,500+ life science ...
(Date:7/5/2017)... , July 5, 2017 Oramed ... www.oramed.com ), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on ... it has received approval from the Israel Securities Authority to ... (TASE). Oramed common stock will commence trading on the TASE ... the current market capitalization of the Company, it is expected ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... 2017 In vitro diagnostics market firm Kalorama ... at least ten diagnostic companies have successfully completed financings.  ... and a loan facility.  The size of these financings ... Kalorama Information provides a monthly IVD Market Trends ... Center. "Diagnostics ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: