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Professor François Fuks researches epigenetics in human diseases. Along with our immune response process, scientists know that genetic alterations have a say in cancer progression. Professor Fuks researches how this interacts with epigenetic alterations and his work has led to a much sharper distinction between different types of cancers.

Listeners will learn

  • How the two-hit hypothesis works with epigenetics modification and genetic factors,
  • Why understanding epigenetics and disease can lead to life-saving therapies, and
  • What new “epidrugs” may soon be available and what they are capable of targeting. 

François Fuks is a professor of epigenetics at the Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. He’s the director of the Laboratory of Cancer Epigenetics and the Cancer Research Center and founded a company that seeks to address the epigenetic field called Epics Therapeutics.

He explains the gist of his research in terms of the careful and ground-breaking work his team has down with epigenomics and epigenetics in cancer. If cancer were a book series, he says, one volume is known but he and others are discovering another volume: this volume shows epigenetic chances and effects that have implications for diagnosis and therapeutics.

He describes these implications in careful detail, describing a tight interplay that can lead to alterations in cancer progression. Genetic and epigenetic events are very tightly connected. These dynamic modifications can switch back and forth, adding marks but also removing. He explains this crosstalk in detail, how the different “lations” from demethylation to phosphorylation work in epigenetics and genetic forces, and how imprinting plays a role.

He then addresses an exciting discovery. Scientists had asked if epigenetics could present a more complete picture than the subgroups we already divide cancer into. The answer is yes, epigenetics has enabled a better picture, adding subgroups and better classification for cancer treatment. Listen in to learn more about this as well as what “epidrugs” might offer future patients.

For more about his work, see his lab’s web page: http://fukslab.ulb.be/

Available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/2Os0myK

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