Friday, October 5, 2012

Epigenetics and Cancer

According to Kurzweil News, Jay Bradner, a physician and chemical biologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (see his presentation on TED), believes that cancer may be defeated through control of epigenetics or cellular memory. “With all the things cancer is trying to do to kill our patient, how does it remember it is cancer?” Bradner says that the answer lies in epigenetics, the programs that manage the genome. Findings over the past ten years have strongly implicated dysregulation of epigenetic instructions in cancer, where growth-driving genes express like crazy, while genes that keep cell division in check are silenced. Bradner believes that it will be possible to create a drug that can rewrite those epigenetic instructions so that cancer cells forget what they are and cease their deadly proliferation. (A presentation by Dr. Jay Bradner is on TED.)

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