Special Issue "The Use of Epigenetic Biomarkers as Diagnostic and Therapeutic Options"

A special issue of Epigenomes (ISSN 2075-4655).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Yuen Yee Cheng

Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney; Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, Gate 3 Hospital Road, Concord, NSW 2139, Australia
Interests: cancer epigenetic; molecular diagnostics; DNA methylation; microRNA; non-invasive diagnostic; tumour suppressor
Guest Editor
Dr. Kenneth Lee

NSW Health pathology, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: haematolymphoid pathology; pulmonary pathology; dendritic cell and lymphoid CD markers; histone modifications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Epigenetic changes are the key processes driving cellular aging, development and carcinogenesis. Epigenetic dysregulation is a universal feature of neoplasms and is considered a hallmark of cancer; subsequently, the study of the epigenome has attracted considerable attention for developing biomarker detection methods and therapeutic discovery for various malignancies for over a decade. The study of epigenetic changes has prompted the discovery of new treatments in cancer with many obtaining FDA approval to be used in clinical practices. However, comprehensive studies are still required for the movement of epigenetic-based therapeutic options for various types of diseases with distinct epigenetic signatures.

Amongst all epigenetic alterations, DNA methylation is the most widely studied in cancer. The status of DNA methylation changes during different stages of carcinogenesis and is readily identifiable using current technology. As such, the status of DNA methylation has biomarker potential in cancer diagnostics. Epigenetic changes can be measured in cell free DNA (CFDNA) which is abundant in blood samples such as plasma and serum. Although this is an area of great diagnostic potential, it is yet to be employed in a clinical setting demonstrating the important requirement for further characterisation in this area.

The advantage of using epigenetic changes as biomarkers is their stability and availability in many sample types. With modern technology the detection of epigenetic changes can also be useful as detection tools in non-invasive biospecimens such as blood plasma and serum. Epigenetic changes are also useful for treatment discovery, as different malignancies present with different epigenetic signatures and therefore reversal of this phenotype presents as a targetable therapy. For example, global DNA hypermethylation can be reversed with demethylation agents such as decitabine while histone modification alterations can be attenuated with TSA or SAHA. Additionally, downregulated tumour suppressor microRNA expression can be restored by synthetic microRNA replacement therapy.

The present Special Issue aims to publish high-quality research articles as well as review contributions on a variety of topics related to epigenetic biomarkers detection in non-invasive clinical samples.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Types of Epigenetic biomarkers used in clinical practices for different diseases
    • DNA methylation, circulating or non-circulating
    • Histone modification e.g., histone methylation and acetylation
    • microRNA and other non-coding RNA
  • Methods of new epigenetic biomarkers discovery;
  • The potential of liquid biopsy for epigenetic biomarkers detection;
  • The process of developing of epigenetic biomarker as treatment options for clinical practices;

Dr. Yuen Yee Cheng
Dr. Kenneth Lee
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Epigenomes is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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