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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Could the study of cancer epigenetics lead to new, specific, and more effective drug therapies for cancer? Manel Esteller, MD, PhD seems to think it could.

Press play to learn about his research and discover:

  • Whether changing your diet could cause epigenetic changes that protect you from cancer
  • How to use epigenetic marks as a tool for identifying sites of primary tumors
  • What can be said about the relationship between chemotherapy and cancer epigenetics
  • How one tumor type can transform into another, and what this has to do with immune system evasion

Director of the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute (IJC), Dr. Manel Esteller, and his team are tackling the study of cancer epigenetics from a number of angles, such as by looking at the epigenomic changes of cancer cells, examining the interactions between epigenetic modification and non-coding RNAs, and developing new epigenetic drug therapies for cancer.

Dr. Esteller starts with the basics: how epigenetic marks occur, and which types are the most well-understood. Then he dives a bit deeper, explaining the features and significance of different types of epigenetic modifications, and how they manifest in primary tumors and metastasis. For instance, while cancer cells exhibit an overall decrease in DNA methylation, there is simultaneous hypermethylation at specific sites—namely, where there are anticancer genes. This is an epigenetic change which leads to metastasis, the cause of most cancer-related deaths.

He also explains how an imbalance of proteins that regulate epigenetic settings can lead to the development of cancer, and just how such an imbalance arises. He explores the differences between cancer epigenetics of tumors in children vs. adults, how primary tumors adapt to different conditions and change their DNA methylation profile in order to successfully metastasize, what is known about the epigenetics of otherwise healthy tissues that surround tumors, the mechanism of tumor transdifferentiation for evading cancer drug therapies, how  drugs targeting particular DNA modifications could slow the ageing process and serve as an effective treatment for cancer, and so much more.

For all the details on these exciting new research insights, tune in now. To learn more about Dr. Esteller’s work, visit

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