Epimutational profile of hematologic malignancies as attractive target for new epigenetic therapies

Elisabetta Fratta, Barbara Montico, Aurora Rizzo, Francesca Colizzi, Luca Sigalotti and Riccardo Dolcetti _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:57327-57350. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10033

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Elisabetta Fratta1, Barbara Montico1, Aurora Rizzo1, Francesca Colizzi1, Luca Sigalotti1 and Riccardo Dolcetti1,2

1 Cancer Bio-Immunotherapy Unit, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS, National Cancer Institute, Aviano, PN, Italy

2 University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia

Correspondence to:

Riccardo Dolcetti, email:

Keywords: hematological malignancies, DNA methylation, histone modifications, azacytidine, 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine

Received: February 09, 2016 Accepted: May 28, 2016 Published: June 14, 2016


In recent years, recurrent somatic mutations in epigenetic regulators have been identified in patients with hematological malignancies. Furthermore, chromosomal translocations in which the fusion protein partners are themselves epigenetic regulators or where epigenetic regulators are recruited/targeted by oncogenic fusion proteins have also been described. Evidence has accumulated showing that “epigenetic drugs” are likely to provide clinical benefits in several hematological malignancies, granting their approval for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes and cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. A large number of pre-clinical and clinical trials evaluating epigenetic drugs alone or in combination therapies are ongoing. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary of known epigenetic alterations and of the current use of epigenetic drugs for the treatment of hematological malignancies.

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