Boston Children’s Hospital research findings shared with EurekAlert! report that at least one epigenetic therapy that initially looked promising for lung cancer actually has the opposite effect—boosting cancer stem cells that are believed to drive tumors.
The research based on Epigenetic therapies—targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell—are of growing interest in the cancer field as a way of making a cancer less aggressive or malignant. The new study, led by lab member Samuel Rowbotham, PhD, looked at an epigenetic therapy that inhibits the enzyme G9a, a type of histone methyltransferase. G9a had been thought to be cancer-promoting, and some studies have suggested that inhibiting G9a is an effective strategy in certain cancers, including adenocarcinoma. Rowbotham and Kim now call this into question.
Carla Kim, PhD
Samuel Rowbotham, PhD