DNA Methylation and Complex Human Disease reviews the possibilities of methyl-group-based epigenetic biomarkers of major diseases, tailored epigenetic therapies, and the future uses of high-throughput methylome technologies.
This volume includes many pertinent advances in disease-bearing research, including obesity, type II diabetes, schizophrenia and autoimmunity. DNA methylation is also discussed as a plasma and serum test for non-invasive screening, diagnostic and prognostic tests, as compared to biopsy-driven gene expression analysis, factors which have led to the use of DNA methylation as a potential tool for determining cancer risk, and diagnosis between benign and malignant disease.
Therapies are at the heart of this volume and the possibilities of DNA demethylation. In cancer, unlike genetic mutations, DNA methylation and histone modifications are reversible and thus have shown great potential in the race for effective treatments. Indeed both demethylating agents are currently used in clinical practice for myelodysplastic syndrome and cutaneous T cell lymphoma. However, the situation might be completely different in non-neoplastic disease, where it could be beneficial to reverse DNA demethylation, for example in autoimmune diseases. Thus, the possibility to use methyl donors will be discussed.
In the concluding part of the book, the authors present the importance of high-throughput methylome analysis, not only in cancer, but also in non-neoplastic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.