Clinical epigenetics: seizing opportunities for translation

Berdasco M, Esteller M.


Biomarker discovery and validation are necessary for improving the prediction of clinical outcomes and patient monitoring. Despite considerable interest in biomarker discovery and development, improvements in the range and quality of biomarkers are still needed. The main challenge is how to integrate preclinical data to obtain a reliable biomarker that can be measured with acceptable costs in routine clinical practice. Epigenetic alterations are already being incorporated as valuable candidates in the biomarker field. Furthermore, their reversible nature offers a promising opportunity to ameliorate disease symptoms by using epigenetic-based therapy. Thus, beyond helping to understand disease biology, clinical epigenetics is being incorporated into patient management in oncology, as well as being explored for clinical applicability for other human pathologies such as neurological and infectious diseases and immune system disorders.

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