Genetic Footprints Show Promise in Personalized Management of Advanced Cancer
What is methylation? It's a word that has been popping up for several years now in discussions of prostate cancer. In basic terms, it means that a gene's physical shape changes – think of a LEGO with an extra nub that doesn't fit where it used to, or a lock that no longer works with its key. When this happens to a gene, this is what scientists call an "epigenetic" change; as its shape changes, so does its ability to function. Genes that are supposed to protect the body against enemy invaders are suddenly silenced, for example, and don't put up a defense against cancer.
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