Current Understandings on the Role of Diet and Epigenetics in Cancer
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 9582
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
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- Cancer Therapy
- Combination Therapy