Hematological malignancies comprise a diverse set of lymphoid and myeloid neoplasms in which normal hematopoiesis has gone awry and together account for ~10% of all new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States in 2016. Recent intensive genomic sequencing of hematopoietic malignancies has identified recurrent mutations in genes that encode regulators of chromatin structure and function, highlighting the central role that aberrant epigenetic regulation plays in the pathogenesis of these neoplasms. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms for how alterations in epigenetic modifiers, specifically histone and DNA methylases and demethylases, drive hematopoietic cancer could provide new avenues for developing novel targeted epigenetic therapies for treating hematological malignancies. Just as past studies of blood cancers led to pioneering discoveries relevant to other cancers, determining the contribution of epigenetic modifiers in hematologic cancers could also have a broader impact on our understanding of the pathogenesis of solid tumors in which these factors are mutated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology