Indexed on: 02 Nov '16Published on: 02 Nov '16Published in: Oncology
Acute leukemia is the most common childhood cancer diagnosis and leading cause of cancer-related death among children and adolescents. Despite substantial improvements in the survival rate of childhood acute leukemia, approximately 20-40% of the patients who undergo treatment develop relapse, with a dismal one third of these patients surviving in the long term. Epigenetics plays an important role in the progression of cancer, and existing evidence suggests a role in childhood acute leukemia relapse. A better understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms in recurrent acute leukemia could potentially lead to novel therapeutic regimens to prevent or treat disease recurrences. In this review, we summarize existing evidence on two of the most studied epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation and microRNA expression, in recurrent pediatric acute leukemia.