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Essay: A search for epigenetic biomarkers predicting sensitivity to therapy in cervical cancer

Offringa, L. (2016) Essay: A search for epigenetic biomarkers predicting sensitivity to therapy in cervical cancer. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, with an overall mortality ratio of 52%. Treatment with chemoradiation improves progression-free and overall survival, when compared with radiation treatment alone. Unfortunately, resistance to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy is limiting further improvement of survival rates for cervical cancer patients. Aberrant gene expression is playing a big role in either resistance or sensitivity to (chemo)radiation therapy. Methylation of genes as well as microRNAs (miRNA) can cause changes in gene expression and in this way either enhance or decrease sensitivity to therapy. We could possibly use this epigenetic information as a biomarker to predict outcome of treatment in cervical cancer patients. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the latest studies in this field concerning alterations in methylation patterns or miRNAs expression levels associated with either better or worse response to therapy. Although relatively not many studies have been performed in this field focussing on cervical cancer, research is still ongoing and in the last years researchers have shown correlations between methylation and miRNAs patterns and therapy outcome. These studies could contribute to an ideal situation where patients will be screened for aberrant methylation or miRNAs patterns to predict if standard (chemo)radiation therapy will be effective. If patients are predicted to respond bad to therapy due to certain methylation or miRNA patterns, this information could provide us where to intervene with other therapeutic drugs to enhance sensitivity to therapy. Further research in this area will be of great value, taking us a step closer to further improvement of survival rates for cervical cancer patients.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:14
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:14
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/14283

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