JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Epigenetic Targeted Therapy for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

Rintaro Hashizume
Neurologia Medico-chirurgica 2017 July 15, 57 (7): 331-342
28592748
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a rare but uniformly fatal cancer of the brain, with peak incidence in children of 5-7 years of age. In contrast to most types of human cancer, there has been no significant improvement in treatment outcomes for patients with DIPG. Since DIPG occurs in the brainstem, a vital region of the brain, there are no surgical options for providing relief to patients, and chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy provide palliative relief at best. To date, more than 250 clinical trials evaluating radiotherapy along with conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy, as well as newer biologic agents, have failed to improve the dismal outcome when compared with palliative radiation alone. The recent discovery of somatic oncogenic histone gene mutations affecting chromatin regulation in DIPG has dramatically improved our understanding of the disease pathogenesis in DIPG, and these findings have stimulated the development of novel therapeutic approaches targeting epigenetic regulators for disease treatment. This review will discuss about the role of histone modification in chromatin machinery and epigenetic therapeutic strategies for the treatment of DIPG.

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