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Epigenetics of lung cancer: a translational perspective

  • Álvaro Quintanal-Villalonga
  • Sonia Molina-PineloEmail author
Review
  • 34 Downloads

Abstract

Background

Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer-related death, with a 5-year survival rate of only 18%. In recent years, the development of targeted pharmacological agents and immunotherapies has substantially increased the survival of a subset of patients. However, most patients lack such efficacious therapy and are, thus, treated with classical chemotherapy with poor clinical outcomes. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. In recent years, the development of epigenetic assays and their application to cancer research have highlighted the relevance of epigenetic regulation in the initiation, development, progression and treatment of lung cancer.

Conclusions

A variety of epigenetic modifications do occur at different steps of lung cancer development, some of which are key to tumor progression. The rise of cutting-edge technologies such as single cell epigenomics is, and will continue to be, crucial for uncovering epigenetic events at a single cell resolution, leading to a better understanding of the biology underlying lung cancer development and to the design of novel therapeutic options. This approach has already led to the development of strategies involving single agents or combined agents targeting epigenetic modifiers, currently in clinical trials. Here, we will discuss the epigenetics of every step of lung cancer development, as well as the translation of these findings into clinical applications.

Keywords

Lung cancer Epigenetics Combination therapy Precision oncology 

Notes

Author contributions

AQV and SMP performed the review and wrote and revised the manuscript.

Funding

SMP was supported by the Consejería de Salud y Bienestar Social of Junta de Andalucía through the “‘Nicolás Monardes’ program [C-0040-2016] and ISCIII (PI17/00033) and cofounder by FEDER from Regional Development European Funds (European Union).”

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Cellular Oncology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in Molecular Pharmacology|Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Unidad Clínica de Oncología Médica, Radioterapia y RadiofísicaInstituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla (IBIS) (HUVR, CSIC, Universidad de Sevilla)SevilleSpain
  3. 3.CIBERONC, Instituto de Salud Carlos IIIMadridSpain

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