Targeting DNA Methylation and Chromatin for Cancer Therapy

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education activities for physicians.

AACR has designated this live activity for a maximum of 17.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Credit certification for individual sessions may vary, dependent upon compliance with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria. The final number of credits may vary from the maximum number indicated above.


Physicians and other health care professionals seeking AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM for this live continuing medical education activity must complete the online CME Request for Credit Survey by Thursday, March 29. Certificates will only be issued to those who complete the survey. Your CME certificate will be sent to you via email after the completion of the activity.


The basic biology of epigenetics and chromatin structure has laid the foundation for understanding how and when genes are expressed, i.e. "turned on or off." We frequently see the normal process of the regulation of gene expression altered or mutated, resulting in the deregulation of genes or pathways, leading to cancer. In addition, tumor cells also use epigenetic processes to escape from chemotherapy and host immune surveillance.

Hence, the need to understanding epigenetic processes is critical to understanding how to harness its potential as a therapeutic target in the clinic. There is also a need to understand the underlying biology of these processes, and the development of current epigenetic therapies for cancer and the growing emphasis on targeting the epigenome. The potential of epigenetic therapy to correct expression of a gene, reveal a cancer cell to the immune system for destruction, or be combined with current therapies will be discussed. The cross-talk between DNA methylation and chromatin will be addressed, as will the influence of the environment and inflammation on chromatin structure. Two sessions will be devoted to the importance of mutations of DNMT3A and of the TETs in clonal hematopoiesis and cancers. Twenty years ago, serious doubts were aired regarding the use of DNA methylation inhibitors in the clinic, but today they are the standard of care for myelodysplastic syndrome. The use of these agents to prime patients for immunotherapy will be a session topic, and epigenetic modulation in developing cancers will be another. New developments in the activation of the non-coding genome—particularly endogenous retroviruses as therapeutic targets—as well as breakthroughs in single-cell analysis of the epigenome will be addressed, which offer exciting new approaches unimaginable 20 years ago.

This conference will be useful to basic, translational and clinical scientists, as well as physicians/practicing oncologists (medical, surgical, radiation) and those engaged in the development of new therapeutics. This conference will provide a venue to synthesize concepts from biology to clinical applications.

After participating in this CME activity, physicians should be able to:

  1. Explain current research on environment, inflammation, and DNA repair;
  2. Provide examples of epigenetic modulation in the development of cancer;
  3. Identify examples of DNA methylation and chromatin cross-talk and their role in cancer;
  4. Assess the role of noncoding genome in cancer; and
  5. Articulate how DNA methylation is being and can be targeted in the clinic.


It is the policy of the AACR that the information presented at AACR CME activities will be unbiased and based on scientific evidence. To help participants make judgments about the presence of bias, AACR will provide information that Scientific Program Committee members and speakers have disclosed about financial relationships they have with commercial entities that produce or market products or services related to the content of this CME activity. This disclosure information will be made available in the Program/Proceedings of this conference.


This activity is supported by Professional Educational Grants which will be disclosed at the activity.


Please contact the Office of CME at (215) 440-9300 or