Conventionally, scientists have paid close attention to how mutations in DNA sequence can develop into disease.1 However, new technologies and approaches have begun to focus on the consequences of DNA modifications altering gene expression, known as epigenetics, as having a critical role in tumorigenesis. Epigenetic changes are more common and persistent than genetic lesions in cancer, and these epigenetic markers may have the potential to be independent clinical predictors.2
The successes that epigenetic therapy has had in hematopoietic malignancies not only drives home the point of the importance of DNA alterations at a therapeutic level but also will be essential to understanding how these modifications can aid in prevention, diagnosis, risk stratification and outcome.3 It is critical that healthcare professionals who treat patients with various hematological malignancies remain abreast of key findings regarding the importance of epigenetics and its implications in future research, management and patient outcomes.
Lichtman, Kipps, et al. Williams Hematology. 8th ed. McGraw-Hill professional, 2010.
Melnick A. Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2010;23:463-468.
Taby R, Issa JP. CA Cancer J Clin. 2010;60:376-392.
- Describe how epigenetic changes affect gene expression and contribute to malignant changes in blood cancer cells
- Discuss new strategies for the development of blood cancer therapies which inhibit factors that produce epigenetic changes in blood cancer cells
- Discuss the therapeutic potential of targeting epigenetic changes as they relate specifically to leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma
- Utilize the information presented from current trials and best practices focusing on epigenetic therapies to better manage their patients with hematologic malignancies
Stephen B. Baylin, MD
Deputy Director, The Sidney Kimmel
Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
Research Professor of Oncology
Johns Hopkins University
James E. Bradner, MD
Attending Physician, Hematology-Oncology
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
Jean-Pierre Issa, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Fels Institute for Cancer
Research & Molecular Biology
Temple University School of Medicine
Ross L. Levine, MD
Associate Member, Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program
Associate Attending Physician, Leukemia Service, Department of Medicine
Geoffrey Beene Junior Faculty Chair
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Ce./Developmental Biology
Weill Cornell Medical College
New York, NY
Jonathan D. Licht, MD
Johanna Dobe Professor and Chief
Division of Hematology/Oncology
Associate Director, Clinical Sciences
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
The faculty reported the following financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CME activity:
- Stephen B. Baylin, MD, has affiliations with Johns Hopkins University (Salary); and MDxHealth, Bionumerick Pharmaceuticals, and Constellation Pharmaceuticals (Consultant).
- James E. Bradner, MD, has affiliations with Shape Pharmaceuticals, Acetylon Pharmaceuticals, and Tensha Therapeutics (Patent and Stock).
- Jonathan D. Licht, MD, has affiliations with Celgene (Research and Honoraria) Glaxo-Smith Kline and SYNDAX (Consultant); Merck and Eisai (Research); and Novartis and Johnson & Johnson (Honoraria).
- Ross L. Levine, MD, has an affiliation with Agios (Research).
- Jean-Pierre Issa, MD, has affiliations with Abcam and EMD Biosciences (Royalties); and Epizyme, Inc. (Research).
The planners and managers reported the following financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CME activity:
THE LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY
- Richard C. Winneker, PhD has no affiliations with commercial interests to disclose.
- Sherri Kramer, MD, has no affiliations with commercial interests to disclose.
- Nora Hartley has no affiliations with commercial interests to disclose.
Postgraduate Institute for Medicine
The following PIM staff serve as clinical content reviewers and/or participate in planning CME/CE activities in a manner that may affect content:, Laura Excell, ND, NP, MS, MA, LPC, NCC; Trace Hutchison, PharmD; Samantha Mattiucci, PharmD, CCMEP; Jan Schultz, RN, MSN, CCMEP; and Patricia Staples, MSN, NP-C, CCRN hereby state that they or their spouse/life partner do not have any financial relationships or relationships to products or devices with any commercial interests related to the content of this CME/CE activity of any amount during the past 12 months.
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