Cancer is the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic events that lead to the disruption of normal cellular development and homeostasis. Skin cancer originates from transformed melanocytes and is one of the few cancers with a significantly increasing incidence. Melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, accounts for the majority of skin cancer-related deaths, and the 5-year survival rate for late-stage melanoma is under 40%. While having some initial success in the clinic, targeted therapies and immunomodulators have a varied rate of response in patients and typically result in the development of drug resistance. The genomic landscape, including the identification of both driver and passenger mutations, in melanoma is well characterized. The epigenetic events that drive melanoma development and metastasis is an area of active research. The recent appreciation of epigenetic contributions to tumorigenesis focuses on DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs. Here, we highlight key epigenetic mechanisms and how these epigenetic states can be exploited in (pre)clinical applications leading to novel therapeutic avenues.
KeywordsMelanoma Epigenetics DNA methylation Histone modification Noncoding RNAs
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