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Epigenomes 2018, 2(3), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/epigenomes2030013

Cancer Risks Linked to the Bad Luck Hypothesis and Epigenomic Mutational Signatures

Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-900, Brazil
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract

Exposure to pathogen infection, and occupational and environmental agents, contributes to induction of most types of cancer through different mechanisms. Cancer is defined and characterized by accumulation of mutations and epimutations that lead to changes in the cellular genome and epigenome. According to a recent Bad Luck Hypothesis, random error mutations during DNA replication in a small population of stem cells may be implicated in two-thirds of variation of cancer risk in 25 organs and tissues. What determines stem cell vulnerability and risk of malignancy across the spectrum of organs, such as the brain, bone marrow, skeletal muscles, skin, and liver? Have stem cells pooled in particular tissues or organs evolved some critical ability to deal with DNA damage in the presence of extrinsic environmental factors? This paper describes how the complex replication and repair DNA systems control mutational events. In addition, recent advances on cancer epigenomic signatures and epigenetic mechanisms are discussed, which will guide future investigation of the origin of cancer initiating cells in tissue and organs in a clinical setting. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; cancer stem cells; DNA repair; epigenome; cancer risk cancer; cancer stem cells; DNA repair; epigenome; cancer risk
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Belizário, J.E. Cancer Risks Linked to the Bad Luck Hypothesis and Epigenomic Mutational Signatures. Epigenomes 2018, 2, 13.

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