alexa Side-by-Side Epigenetics and Genetics Share Importance in Cancer Development

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Side-by-Side Epigenetics and Genetics Share Importance in Cancer Development

Recently, I had in my hands an interesting and highly recommended review from Jueng Soo You and Peter Jones entitled “Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics: Two Sides of the Same Coin?” which was published in Cancer Cell. In this review, the authors discuss the role and the weight of genetics and epigenetics in tumorigenesis. According to them “intriguing evidences have emerged showing that genetic and epigenetic mechanism are not separate events in cancer” and “alterations in epigenetic mechanisms can lead to genetic mutations, and genetic mutations in epigenetic regulators lead to an altered epigenome”. Here, I develop this theme based on this last statement. Cancer cannot be anymore understood as only the outcome of genetic mutations accumulation. The traditional cancer definition “set of diseases that are driven by accumulation of genetic mutations” has frustrated generations of scientists that hoped to find the cancer missing-link after the genomic decade as well as patients that patiently have waited for a miracle successful therapy. It is not that gene mutations are not relevant. Of course not! The genomic as well as the transcriptomic and the proteomic field have promoted an enormous advance in the knowledge of tumorigenesis, especially after the advent of high-throughput techniques. But maybe, we have left an important “omic” member out of the high-throughput party until recently: the epigenetics.

Citation: Souza-Pardo APD (2015) Side-by-Side Epigenetics and Genetics Share Importance in Cancer Development. Human Genet Embryol 5:e111.

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