Cancer

A cell becomes cancerous when enough changes turn the cell to uncontrolled growth and cellular division. There is a classical view of cancer in which the disease arises via genetic mutations. These mutations cause changes in genes that can make the protein non-functional or over active that lead to a cancerous state. But there is no set number of mutations that must be registered, but rather the trigger point depends on what genes are affected and in what cell type. Epigenetic changes affect cell behavior and division and it is becoming abundantly clear that cells can become cancerous from epigenetic changes as well. For example, hypermethylation of a gene important for DNA repair could inhibit the protein’s activity. As our understanding of how epigenetic changes induce cancerous changes increases, new drugs, treatment protocols and diagnostic tools are being released to improve care.

Understanding Epigenetics:
Cancer
Check out these stories for more context on epigenetics and agriculture
Video: How epigenetic changes cause cancer
| Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Epigenetics: Core misconcept
Mark Ptashne | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Research
Obesity and menopause modify the epigenomic profile of breast cancer
April 26, 2017 | Ana Crujeiras | Endocrine Related Cancer
Untangling the genetics from the epigenetics in pancreatic cancer metastasis
April 20, 2017 | Christopher R Vakoc, David A Tuveson | Nature Genetics
DNA methylation profiling in peripheral lung tissues of smokers and patients with COPD
April 19, 2017 | Isaac K. Sundar | Clinical Epigenetics
The epitranscriptome of noncoding RNAs in cancer
March 27, 2017 | Manel Esteller, Pier Paolo Pandolfi | Cancer Discovery
Zooming in on nuclear organization
March 22, 2017 | Katharine Wrighton | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
The cancer epigenome: Concepts, challenges, and therapeutic opportunities
March 20, 2017 | Mark Dawson | Frontiers in Cancer Therapy
Tumor Evolution: Epigenetic and genetic heterogeneity in metastasis
February 28, 2017 | Gemma Alderton | Nature Reviews Cancer
Transforming cancer epigenetics using nutritive approaches and non-coding RNAs
February 13, 2017 | Centdrika Dates, Trygve Tollefsbol | Current Cancer Drug Targets