Articles that explore the ways in which epigenetic drugs may be used to stave off cancer and other diseases. Additional articles cover topics related to drug abuse, rehab, and addiction.

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…]

Epigenetic Study of Histone Modifications and DNA Damage Could Lead to New Cancer Treatments

October 13, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

DNA damage occurs frequently to cells as a result of normal cellular processes, but one of the worst genetic malfunctions that can occur is DNA double-strand breaks, or DSBs. This can lead to cancer and increased resistance to cancer therapy. New research from scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported their findings regarding histone modifications, the cause of DNA double-strand breaks, and possible ways they can be fixed. Their research was published in Nature Cell Biology. [more…]

Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Study Supports HDAC Inhibitor as Possible Lung Cancer Treatment

July 28, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

A person’s genetic code can contribute to their risk for developing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which accounts for about 85% of lung cancers. Epigenetics, the study of chemical tags that impact gene expression without altering the genetic sequence, is shown to also profoundly influence the development of cancer. In a study by Asan Medical Center researchers from The University of Ulsan College of Medicine in Korea, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-on-chip assays and other techniques were used to investigate the epigenetic [more…]

DNA Methylation Gives Epigenetic Hope to Cocaine Addiction Treatment

June 2, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Not only is cocaine a highly addictive drug, but it also comes with an incredibly high chance of relapse even after someone has abstained and experienced symptoms of withdrawal. A new study is illuminating the epigenetic changes made to DNA during the withdrawal stage for those trying to rid themselves of the drug and offers new hope for more effective epigenetic-based treatments for drug addiction. According to researchers from McGill University and Bar Ilan University, the genes found in your [more…]

Smoking Linked to Epigenetic Warning Signs of Cancer in Cheek Cells

May 26, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

New research published in JAMA Oncology shows that DNA damage that occurs as a result of smoking may be found in cheek swabs. In light of this research, smoking is thought to adjust the epigenetic profile of cheek cells and the resulting epigenetic landscape may even be used as an early warning sign of other cancers typically unrelated to smoking, such as gynecological and breast cancers. Professor Martin Widschwendter, Head of the Department of Women’s Cancer at the UCL Institute [more…]

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…]

Epigenetic Study Finds New Potential Drug Targets for Asthma and Allergies

February 24, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

A new epigenetic study has identified 30 genes connected to allergies and asthma that make people more susceptible to these conditions. Using the newly discovered gene targets from this study, scientists could potentially create drugs to combat allergic diseases and reduce allergic responses. About 6.8 million children and 18.7 million adults in the U.S. suffer from asthma. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 60 million people suffer from both asthma and allergies, affecting 1 out of every [more…]

Binge Drinking Can Lead to Harmful Epigenetic Changes

December 30, 2014 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Recent research at the University of Missouri School of Medicine sheds some light on the epigenetic changes to proteins that occur as a result of . Their results could help progress treatments for liver diseases linked to alcohol consumption. The lead author of the study and Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor at the MU School of Medicine, Shivendra Shukla, PhD, says that “we know that chronic alcohol use is damaging to the liver, but binge drinking amplifies that damage.” Chronic liver [more…]

Epigenetic Regulation of a Single Gene Controls Drug and Stress Responses

December 2, 2014 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Researchers have found that the regulation of a specific gene located in an area of the brain linked to depression and drug addiction can reduce the way someone responds to drugs and stressful situations. A mouse study that focused on the epigenetic regulation of a single gene was carried out at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and was recently published in Nature Neuroscience. Earlier research supports a connection between epigenetic regulation and diseases related to depression and [more…]

Epigenetic Regulation and Drug Therapy Could Offer New Treatment for Kidney Stones

September 16, 2014 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Although kidney stones are common and often cause excruciating pain, there are few options for treatment and a surprising lack of drugs to medicate the condition. In a previous blog post we discussed how a drug that was already being used to treat multiple sclerosis showed promising results for removing painful memories of those who experienced trauma. Now, a new mouse study at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that a class of drugs which have [more…]

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