Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use; Apoptosis/drug effects; Cell Division/drug effects; Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use; Histone Deacetylases/antagonists & inhibitors; Humans; Neoplasms/drug therapy/genetics/pathology; Neovascularization, Pathologic/psychology
[en] Circa twenty-five years ago, cancer research was dominated by the concept that the origin of cancer was genetic. Thousands of genetic alterations have indeed been identified involving more than hundred different genes in cancer development. Today, the model has evolved: it has been demonstrated that malignancies can be initiated not only through genetic alterations but also through epigenetic deregulations. By altering the expression of gene involved in cell regulation, epigenetic alterations, such as histone acetylation, play a key role in the initiation and progression of neoplasm. It has been shown that an imbalance between the acelylated and deacetylated status of chromatin is significantly involved in the acquisition of a malignant phenotype. Thus, the modulation of the histone acetylation level by histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors could lead to a genetic re-programmation in cancer cells that would favor apoptosis and prevent proliferation. The potential therapeutic value of several HDAC inhibitors for cancer patients has been evaluated in clinical assays with very promising outcome. Indeed, the first inhibitors available for patients has been recently approved for cancer patients tracing the way for a new class of promising anti-cancer therapy modalities.