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Novel strategies for eliminating residual tumor cells using epigenetic therapy


This proposal aims to strength our hypothesis that epi-drugs, such as demethylating agents, can be an effective treatment for eliminating residual tumor cells by treating both resistant and/or dormant tumor cells (seed) and the microenvironment (soil). The proposal is based on two immunocompetent models: the cellular model of murine melanoma and the model of microenvironment-dependent tumor growth. These two approaches have a parallel with important aspects in the clinics: the first is related to circulating tumor cells remaining after removing a tumor by surgery (residual tumor cells); alternatively, our model of tumor growth from a very small number of tumor cells induced by the presence of a massive number of apoptotic cells has a parallel with tumor cells remaining after treatments inducing massive apoptosis, such as radio- and chemotherapy, which can favor the growth of remaining viable cells. (AU)

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