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Histone modifications as markers of cancer prognosis: a cellular view


Alterations in modifications of histones have been linked to deregulated expression of many genes with important roles in cancer development and progression. The effects of these alterations have so far been interpreted from a promoter-specific viewpoint, focussing on gene-gene differences in patterns of histone modifications. However, recent findings suggest that cancer tissues also display cell-cell differences in total amount of specific histone modifications. This novel cellular epigenetic heterogeneity is related to clinical outcome of cancer patients and may serve as a valuable marker of prognosis.

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