Thursday, October 10, 2013 -
12:25 to 13:10
Specific location: 
Læknagarður, stofa 343

Dr. Ólafur Andri Stefánsson starfsmaður Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Program (PEBC), við IDIBELL stofnunina í Barcelona á Spáni mun halda fyrirlestur sem hann nefnir 

"Epigenetics in breast and ovarian cancers" 

í Málstofu Lífvísindaseturs fimmtudaginn 10. október kl. 12:25 í stofu 343 í Læknagarði


This week BMC seminar will be given by Dr. Ólafur Andri Stefánsson employed by the Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Program (PEBC), IDIBELL, Barcelona, Spain 

Title: Epigenetics in breast and ovarian cancers

Thursday 10th October at 12:25 in room 343 at Læknagarður


In recent years there has been growing acceptance among researchers that epigenetic changes, as well as genetic mutations, are critical contributors to cancer development. The body of evidence supporting the involvement of epigenetic changes in cancer has been growing since the early 1990s, when renal cell carcinomas arising without mutations in the VHL gene (alias VHL1) were found to have epigenetic inactivation of VHL. More recent discoveries include that of acquired mutations in ARID1A (involved in chromatin remodelling), which occur in approximately half of all clear cell ovarian cancers. Indeed, acquired mutations in ARID1A have now been found in other types of cancer, including breast cancers. Other examples of mutated “epigenetic genes” (ie, genes involved in the processing of epigenetic marks and chromatin dynamics) include IDH1 mutations in glioblastoma and MLL3 or MLL2 mutations in breast cancer. Epigenetic modifications of the type that involve gene promoter hypermethylation have been well studied and are known to result in negative effects on transcriptional potential. In breast and ovarian cancers, this classical type of epigenetic modification affects the BRCA1 gene – a major tumour suppressor gene in breast and ovarian cancers. My research activities have contributed to the understanding that BRCA1 promoter methylation leads to a similar phenotype as seen in tumours arising in individuals with inherited mutations in the BRCA1 gene; including genetic instability and sensitivity to genotoxic drugs. Collectively, the picture emerging is that epigenetic changes and genetic mutations are intertwined and co-operative in cancer development. In my presentation, I will outline recent findings in the field with emphasis on clinical translational potentials for the benefit of cancer patients. 

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