Epigenetic Changes and Epigenetic Targets in Head and Neck Cancer

  • Suraj PeriEmail author
  • Andrew J. Andrews
  • Aarti Bhatia
  • Ranee Mehra
Part of the Current Cancer Research book series (CUCR)


Epigenetic changes are both inheritable and reversible, affecting the spatial conformation of DNA and its transcriptional activity. The most common classes of epigenetic regulation include modification of DNA (typically by methylation), or modification of the histones that form nucleosomes (typically by methylation, acetylation, or phosphorylation). Epigenetic changes can influence gene expression patterns without making permanent changes in DNA. In this article, we discuss characteristic changes in the epigenetic modification of tumor DNA that occurs in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHN), which controls the selective induction and repression of genes relevant to the disease pathology. We also describe key proteins that mediate epigenetic control of gene expression, and emerging therapeutic approaches to target epigenetic control systems.


Epigenetics DNA methylation Histone methylation Histone acetylation TCGA NSD1 NSD2 H3K36 H3K27 Tobacco Smoking 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suraj Peri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew J. Andrews
    • 2
  • Aarti Bhatia
    • 3
  • Ranee Mehra
    • 4
    • 4
  1. 1.Biostatistics and Bioinformatics DivisionFox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Program in Cancer BiologyFox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineYale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer CenterNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Department of OncologyJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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