An increasingly number of women of all age groups are affected by cancer, despite substantial progress in our understanding of cancer pathobiology, the underlying genomic alterations and signaling cascades, and cellular-environmental interactions. Though our understanding of women’s cancer is far more complete than ever before, there is no comprehensive model to explain the reasons behind the increased incidents of certain reproductive cancer among older as well as younger women. It is generally suspected that environmental and life-style factors affecting hormonal and growth control pathways might help account for the rise of women’s cancers in younger age, as well, via epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic regulators play an important role in orchestrating an orderly coordination of cellular signals in gene activity in response to upstream signaling and/or epigenetic modifiers present in a dynamic extracellular milieu. Here we will discuss the broad principles of epigenetic regulation of DNA methylation and demethylation, histone acetylation and deacetylation, and RNA methylation in women’s cancers in the context of gene expression, hormonal action, and the EGFR family of cell surface receptor tyrosine kinases. We anticipate that a better understanding of the epigenetics of women’s cancers may provide new regulatory leads and further fuel the development of new epigenetic biomarkers and therapeutic approaches.
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