Understanding epigenetics to develop new therapies
Conquest - Fall 2013
Epigenetic-based cancer therapies
By Hilary Graham
Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., professor and chair of Leukemia and co-leader of the Leukemia Moon Shot, is leading a clinical trial to investigate the safety and effectiveness of a DNA hypomethylating agent, developed by Astex Pharmaceuticals, in patients with high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes or acute myeloid leukemia.
Currently, there are four available anti-cancer drugs on the market that target two classes of epigenetic regulators (see photo above). A number of leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies continue to expand their programs surrounding the development of epigenetic-based therapies. In fact, the next generation of epigenetic cancer drugs promises to be tailored to specific patient populations, based on biomarkers and diagnostic tests.
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