EPIGENETIC THERAPY AND VIROTHERAPY AS CANCER TREATMENTS
Now, that you have learned about cancer stem cells, the epigenome, and a little about viruses as individual topics, I would like us to combine all of these topics into a discussion on cancer treatment.
First, please SKIM the attached article on targeting cancer stem and non-stem cells (this is the “Tumor-initiating and -propagating cells article” file). Pay particular attention to the section on treatment – specifically, epigenetic therapy.
Then, SKIM the second attached article on combining epigenetic therapy with virotherapy (this is the “Targeting epigenetic markers during oncolytic virotherapy article” file).
If you have extra time, also SKIM through this third article that describes virotherapy in more detail; this article is located at this website:
IMPORTANT: You do NOT need to fully read the articles above, I just want you to skim through and read ONLY the relevant parts. (It’s difficult to find articles that only cover the topics that I want to cover in just enough detail, and these were the best that I could find – but these still have a LOT of other details that you do NOT need to know at this course level.)
Now, answer one or more of the following question:
1. Cancer stem cells and normal non-cancer stem cells are very similar in some properties, yet very different in their maintenance and differentiation mechanisms. In terms of cancer treatment, why is it important to identify the exact differences in such mechanisms for cancer and non-cancer stem cells?
2. Can both genetic and epigenetic targets be used to target cancer-stem cells; how/why? Can you give some specific examples?
3. What is virotherapy? Can you give a general overview of what this entails? Can you BRIEFLY explain one specific type of virotherapy?
4. Based on what you have read in these articles, discuss how and why epigenetic therapy and virotherapy can be combined to target cancer stem cells and therefore treat cancer.