Researchers at the University of Sheffield have been investigating the causes for chemotherapy resistance in colon and breast cancer. Their findings, recently published in Nucleic Acids Research, reveal that there is an epigenetically-driven process that speeds up the repair of DNA breakage caused during the course of chemotherapy, in this case with use of the Topo I inhibitor Irinotecan. This process is referred to as “histone acetylation” and is treatable with clinically available therapeutics (HDAC Inhibitors).
Meisenberg, et al. (2016) Epigenetic changes in histone acetylation underpin resistance to the topoisomerase I inhibitor irinotecan. Nucl. Acids Res. (2016) doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw1026 Published online October 26, 2016.