Special Issue "Current Understandings on the Role of Diet and Epigenetics in Cancer"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sibaji Sarkar
Guest Editor
Quincy College, Quincy, Boston, MA, USA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Epigenetic alterations are reversible, and accumulate as we age. These changes are mediated by the methylation and hydroxymethylation of DNA, the methylation of RNA, the methylation, acetylation, and other modifications of histones, and by different types of RNAs including microRNAs. Epigenetic alterations are mediated by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors, including the microenvironment of the cells in a tissue. Environment and nutrition play an important role in this process, which includes lifestyle.

There are six well-defined events associated with cancer development and progression, known as the hallmarks of cancer, which include resisting cell death, sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppressors, activating invasion and metastasis, enabling replicative immortality, and inducing angiogenesis. Although sequential selective mutations is the current dogma in carcinogenesis, recent research suggests that epigenetic regulation is possibly involved in the formation of cancer progenitor cells. Mutations regulate when and how fast the cancer will progress. In addition, epigenetic mechanisms may regulate many aspects of these six hallmarks of cancer. Current therapies, though they can often make many types of cancer patients cancer-free, they do not kill cancer progenitor/stem cells and patients often relapse. Epigenetic drugs are expected to reduce cancer relapse as a component of combination therapy, as they have the potential to kill cancer progenitor cells, to block the formation of new cancer progenitor cells, and to kill drug-resistant cancer cells. It is also important to realize that the efficacy of epigenetic drugs in combination with other standard therapies will depend on when, at which stage, how, how much, and how long they are introduced. It will also vary from patient to patient, as all may not have accumulated similar levels of epigenetic alterations. In this respect, the effects of diet and nutrition on epigenetic alterations should be thoroughly studied. These studies could possibly also shed light on the development of other types of diseases, because these epigenetic changes differentially regulate gene expression. Though diet and nutrition may have little control on fully developed, progressed, and metastasized cancer cells, they could play an important role in the development of cancer progenitor cells by regulating epigenetic events, which is a slow process.

The current Special Issue entitled “Role of Diet and Epigenetics in Cancer” is designed to include articles that will address these issues. We welcome different types of manuscript submissions, including original research articles and up-to-date reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Dr. Sibaji Sarkar
Guest Editor

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. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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.


  • Epigenetics
  • Methylation
  • Cancer Therapy
  • Combination Therapy
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle

Published Papers (1 paper)

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A Crosstalk between Diet, Microbiome and microRNA in Epigenetic Regulation of Colorectal Cancer
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2428; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072428 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1027
A still growing interest between human nutrition in relation to health and disease states can be observed. Dietary components shape the composition of microbiota colonizing our gastrointestinal tract which play a vital role in maintaining human health. There is a strong evidence that [...] Read more.
A still growing interest between human nutrition in relation to health and disease states can be observed. Dietary components shape the composition of microbiota colonizing our gastrointestinal tract which play a vital role in maintaining human health. There is a strong evidence that diet, gut microbiota and their metabolites significantly influence our epigenome, particularly through the modulation of microRNAs. These group of small non-coding RNAs maintain cellular homeostasis, however any changes leading to impaired expression of miRNAs contribute to the development of different pathologies, including neoplastic diseases. Imbalance of intestinal microbiota due to diet is primary associated with the development of colorectal cancer as well as other types of cancers. In the present work we summarize current knowledge with particular emphasis on diet-microbiota-miRNAs axis and its relation to the development of colorectal cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Understandings on the Role of Diet and Epigenetics in Cancer)
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