Decitabine and epigenetic therapy for solid cancers – pro

Lay search: Decitabine is being studies for “epigenetic” therapy of solid cancers.

Genes involved in all aspects of tumor development and growth can become aberrantly methylated in tumor cells, including genes involved in apoptosis and cell cycle regulation. Decitabine, 2´-deoxy-5-azacytidine, can inhibit DNA methyltransferases and reverse epigenetic silencing of aberrantly methylated genes. Nucleoside DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, such as decitabine, have been reported to have antitumor activity, especially against hematologic malignancies. Such demethylating agents have been proposed to reactivate tumor suppressor genes aberrantly methylated in tumor cells, leading to inhibition of tumor growth.

Currenlty Decitabine is FDA approved for myedlodysplaisa. Because of the aforementioned mechanism of action, there is interest in studying it in colorectal and other solid cancers. Decitabine has been studied in several phase II trials for solid tumours as well as in different types of leukaemia. The drug has been shown to have very limited efficacy against solid tumours. However, decitabine exhibits higher activity for the treatment of haematological malignancies.

Robert Brown, Jane A Plumb Demethylation of DNA by decitabine in cancer chemotherapyExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy August 2004, Vol. 4, No. 4, Pages 501-510

Saba H, Rosenfeld C, Issa JP, et al. First Report of the Phase III North American Trial of Decitabine in Advanced Myelodysplastic Syndrome. American Society of Hematology Meeting. San Diego, Calif. 2004. Abstract #64.

Kantarjian H, O’Brien S, Giles F, et al.Decitabine Low-Dose Schedule (100 mg/m2/Course) in Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). Comparison of 3 Different Dose Schedules.American Society of Hematology Meeting. Atlanta, Georgia. 2005. Abstract #2522.

Adis Decitabine: 2′-Deoxy-5-azacytidine, Aza dC, DAC, Dezocitidine, NSC 127716. R&D Profile Drugs in R & D. 4(6):352-358, 2003.

Jean-Pierre J. Issa DNA Methylation as a Therapeutic Target in Cancer Clinical Cancer Research 13, 1634-1637, March 15, 2007.

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