Targeting epigenetic mechanisms in gastric cancer

Canale, Matteo (2023) Targeting epigenetic mechanisms in gastric cancer, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia, ematologia e patologia, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10830.
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Gastric cancer (GC) is a hard challenge for medical oncology, with globally over one million of new diagnoses each year and low survival rates. Gastric carcinogenesis is guided by the interaction of several risk factors, exerting through sequential histopathologic steps, including chronic gastritis, atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia and cancer. GC is classified on the basis of anatomical, histological or molecular classification, reflecting the wide cancer heterogeneity, also highlighted by the inefficacy of the actual treatment schedules. Epigenetic mechanisms alterations affecting DNA methylation, histone methylation and acetylation, are a recognized hallmark of cancer and stand at the basis of gastric carcinogenesis and tumor development. The pharmacological targeting of these altered mechanisms is an attractive option for new cancer treatments. Aim of this study was to test the therapeutic potential of the compound CM-272 for GC, a selective and strong dual inhibitor of DNMT1 and EHMT2, which reached important results in pre-clinical models of other gastrointestinal malignancies. Moreover, in a GC patients case series, the expression of the target of the compound was tested, to prove the rationale for inhibition of DNMT1, EHMT2 and their functional adaptor were over-expressed in the majority of GC patients tissues. Through in-vitro testing of CM-272 alone and in combination with the most used chemotherapeutic treatments for GC in a panel of GC cell lines, this study demonstrated that the compound has a strong ability in inhibiting GC cells growth. Even though not directly inducing apoptosis, CM-272 was able to induce a senescent phenotype in GC cells, and to epigenetically reprogram the transcription of genes involved in phosphorylation cascades and mitochondria metabolism, thus affecting the growth and energetic machinery of cancer cells. In conclusion, the pharmacological targeting of epigenetic mechanisms demonstrated good potential pre-clinical models of GC, and further investigations to test in-vivo efficacy are needed.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Canale, Matteo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
gastric cancer, epigenetics, epi-drugs
Data di discussione
16 Giugno 2023

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