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Potential of epigenetic therapies in the management of solid tumors

Authors Valdespino VM, Valdespino PM

Received 16 February 2015

Accepted for publication 20 April 2015

Published 31 July 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 241—251


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kenan Onel

Video abstract presented by Victor Valdespino

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Victor Valdespino,1 Patricia M Valdespino2

1Health Attention Department, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico; 2Bacterial Ecology and Epigenetics Laboratory, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

Abstract: Cancer is a complex disease with both genetic and epigenetic origins. The growing field of epigenetics has contributed to our understanding of oncogenesis and tumor progression, and has allowed the development of novel therapeutic drugs. First-generation epigenetic inhibitor drugs have obtained modest clinical results in two types of hematological malignancy. Second-generation epigenetic inhibitors are in development, and have intrinsically greater selectivity for their molecular targets. Solid tumors are more genetic and epigenetically complex than hematological malignancies, but the transcriptome and epigenome biomarkers have been identified for many of these malignancies. This solid tumor molecular aberration profile may be modified using specific or quasi-specific epidrugs together with conventional and innovative anticancer treatments. In this critical review, we briefly analyze the strategies to select the targeted epigenetic changes, enumerate the second-generation epigenetic inhibitors, and describe the main signs indicating the potential of epigenetic therapies in the management of solid tumors. We also highlight the work of consortia or academic organizations that support the undertaking of human epigenetic therapeutic projects as well as some examples of transcriptome/epigenome profile determination in clinical assessment of cancer patients treated with epidrugs. There is a good chance that epigenetic therapies will be able to be used in patients with solid tumors in the future. This may happen soon through collaboration of diverse scientific groups, making the selection of targeted epigenetic aberration(s) more rapid, the design and probe of drug candidates, accelerating in vitro and in vivo assays, and undertaking new cancer epigenetic-therapy clinical trails.

Keywords: solid tumor, treatment, targeted therapy, epigenetic therapy

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