Targeting Epigenetic Modifiers of Tumor Plasticity and Cancer Stem Cell Behavior.

Journal: 
Cells
Publication Year: 
2022
Authors: 
Vigneshwari Easwar Kumar
Roshni Nambiar
Cristabelle De Souza
Audrey Nguyen
Jeremy Chien
Kit S Lam
PubMed link: 
35563709
Public Summary: 
Tumor heterogeneity poses one of the greatest challenges to a successful treatment of cancer. Tumor cell populations consist of different subpopulations that have distinct phenotypic and genotypic profiles. Such variability poses a challenge in successfully targeting all tumor subpopulations at the same time. Relapse after treatment has been previously explained using the cancer stem cell model and the clonal evolution model. Cancer stem cells are an important subpopulation of tumor cells that regulate tumor plasticity and determine therapeutic resistance. Tumor plasticity is controlled by genetic and epigenetic changes of crucial genes involved in cancer cell survival, growth and metastasis. Targeting epigenetic modulators associated with cancer stem cell survival can unlock a promising therapeutic approach in completely eradicating cancer. Here, we review various factors governing epigenetic dysregulation of cancer stem cells ranging from the role of epigenetic mediators such as histone and DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases, histone methyltransferases to various signaling pathways associated with cancer stem cell regulation. We also discuss current treatment regimens targeting these factors and other promising inhibitors in clinical trials.
Scientific Abstract: 
Tumor heterogeneity poses one of the greatest challenges to a successful treatment of cancer. Tumor cell populations consist of different subpopulations that have distinct phenotypic and genotypic profiles. Such variability poses a challenge in successfully targeting all tumor subpopulations at the same time. Relapse after treatment has been previously explained using the cancer stem cell model and the clonal evolution model. Cancer stem cells are an important subpopulation of tumor cells that regulate tumor plasticity and determine therapeutic resistance. Tumor plasticity is controlled by genetic and epigenetic changes of crucial genes involved in cancer cell survival, growth and metastasis. Targeting epigenetic modulators associated with cancer stem cell survival can unlock a promising therapeutic approach in completely eradicating cancer. Here, we review various factors governing epigenetic dysregulation of cancer stem cells ranging from the role of epigenetic mediators such as histone and DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases, histone methyltransferases to various signaling pathways associated with cancer stem cell regulation. We also discuss current treatment regimens targeting these factors and other promising inhibitors in clinical trials.