Inhibition of histone deacetylases in cancer therapy: Lessons from leukaemia

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Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a key component of the epigenetic machinery regulating gene expression, and behave as oncogenes in several cancer types, spurring the development of HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) as anticancer drugs. This review discusses new results regarding the role of HDACs in cancer and the effect of HDACi on tumour cells, focusing on haematological malignancies, particularly acute myeloid leukaemia. Histone deacetylases may have opposite roles at different stages of tumour progression and in different tumour cell sub-populations (cancer stem cells), highlighting the importance of investigating these aspects for further improving the clinical use of HDACi in treating cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-611
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2016


  • APL
  • cancer stem cells
  • epigenetics
  • HDACi
  • histone deacetylases
  • leukaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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