DNA Methylation and Glucocorticoid Resistance Offers Clues to Improve Cancer Drugs

May 12, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Scientists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital conducted a study that illuminates a mechanism by which leukemia cells resist steroids, a key factor detrimental to the success of chemotherapy. This discovery could help create more effective cancer drugs and improve the treatment of many autoimmune related diseases. The researchers looked at a certain type of steroid hormones involved in the immune system, known as glucocorticoids. These hormones are crucial components to the chemotherapy drug cocktail that has helped increase long-term [more…]

New Drug Targets Epigenetic Mark, May Help Treat Rare Cancer

June 23, 2020 Danton Ivanochko

In 2020, the FDA approved Epizyme’s drug tazemetostat (Brand name: Tazverik) to treat a rare type of solid tumor called epithelioid sarcoma. Tazemetostat targets the epigenetic enzyme EZH2, which is strongly linked to several cancer types. Now, Epizyme is seeking accelerated approval for tazemetostat to treat a common form of blood cancer called follicular lymphoma, and has clinical trials running for several additional cancer types. Cancer is a genetic disease that causes unrestrained cell proliferation. Typically, chemotherapies treat cancer by [more…]

Drug Combination May Epigenetically Help Prevent Breast Cancer

February 11, 2020 Andrea P

Approximately one out of every eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. Breast cancer is considered to be the most lethal cancer for women outside of lung cancer. The economic implications of breast cancer are also huge; setting aside the medical costs faced, breast cancer costs a whopping $6.2 billion in lost wages. With no surefire way to universally detect breast cancer early, it can be difficult to intervene early. Treatments must [more…]

Epigenome Map of Cell May Help Show Cancer Evolution & Drug Resistance

May 28, 2019 Tom Owens

Due to its widespread impact across various developed countries and cultures, cancer has been the focus of an ever-increasing number of studies worldwide. What makes these studies difficult, however, is the complicated nature of how cells become cancerous and/or malignant, and further is the overwhelming amount of diversity of the kinds of diseases that all fall under the umbrella of “cancer.” Scientists have made headway in studying the various genetic mutations that occur in cancer cells which make them behave [more…]

Intended Epigenetic Drug Has Opposite Effect for Lung Cancer

February 26, 2019 WhatIsEpigenetics

Cancer is a complex disease influenced by numerous factors including genetic make-up, lifestyle, and the environment. Over the years, the growing field of epigenetics has greatly contributed to our understanding of cancer and tumor progression. It has also led to the development of novel drug therapies. Yet, despite the fact that epigenetic regulators have become attractive anticancer targets, many scientists believe that extra caution should be taken when assessing their overall effects. In a new study, one potential epigenetic therapy [more…]

Epigenetic Drugs That Fight Cancer Also Show Promise as Antivirals

October 31, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Epigenetic drugs designed to fight cancer might actually be used against many viruses as well. A recent study published in the American Society for Microbiology shows that some pharmaceuticals that act epigenetically have the power to be used as broad spectrum antivirals. Specifically, the researchers looked at histone methyltransferases EZH2/1 inhibitors which can help fight against cancer. Numerous DNA viruses, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), are involved in epigenetic regulation which determines productive infection, persistence, and latency. Modulation to [more…]

Researchers Reveal Why Some Cancers Override HDAC Inhibitor Drugs

November 10, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

UK scientists from The University of Birmingham have discovered how certain cancer cells can adapt and render cancer drugs ineffective. These drugs, known as histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, are designed to disrupt cancer cells’ genetic controls. Their research, published in Epigenetics and Chromatin, may help create new therapies focused on preventing tumors from overcoming HDAC inhibitors (HDACi). Genes can be switched on or off via molecular tags that attach to DNA and transfer signals to tell the cell how to [more…]

Epigenetically Awaking Ancient Parts of Our DNA to Fight Cancer

November 3, 2020 Natalie Crowley

Buried within our DNA, there exists a vast amount of dormant genetic material – a remarkable percentage of which consists of ancient inserted elements that have found their way into our genome, only to be silenced for millions of years.  While the origins of most of these obsolete retroelements are not fully known, their inactive status is epigenetically controlled. It has been suggested that “turning on” these parts of our genome could be useful, especially in fighting off certain diseases [more…]

Curcumin May Alleviate Liver Damage Caused by Drug-induced Epigenetic Changes

November 20, 2018 Natalie Crowley

For centuries, people all around the globe have known about the health benefits of herbs and spices. One spice, in particular, stands out not only for its bright yellow color but also for its potent healing powers. This wonder spice is Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric, and it belongs to the ginger family. Traditionally used in Indian cooking as a main ingredient in curry powder, this spice is also used to make medicine. Numerous studies have promoted turmeric as [more…]

Natural Compound in Garlic Uses Epigenetics to Fight Ovarian Cancer

November 13, 2018 Natalie Crowley

Garlic has been used in food and as medicine since ancient times. Considered a superfood for its role as a health promoter, this small, pungent vegetable is widely used today to prevent and treat numerous conditions from the common cold to heart disease, cancer, and more. Now new research is confirming garlic’s medicinal ability, finding that it contains a powerful substance that acts epigenetically to halt the growth of ovarian cancer. There are numerous nutrients in garlic that are beneficial [more…]

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