The term 'personalized medicine' refers to a medical procedure that consists in the grouping of patients based on their predicted individual response to therapy or risk of disease. In oncologic patients, a 'tailored' therapeutic approach may potentially improve their survival and well-being by not only reducing the tumour, but also enhancing therapeutic response and minimizing the adverse effects. Diagnostic tests are often used to select appropriate and optimal therapies that rely both on patient genome and other molecular/cellular analysis. Several studies have shown that lifestyle and environmental factors can influence the epigenome and that epigenetic events may be involved in carcinogenesis. Thus, in addition to traditional biomarkers, epigenetic factors are raising considerable interest, because they could potentially be used as an excellent tool for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. In this review, we summarize the role of conventional cancer genetic biomarkers and their association with epigenomics. Furthermore, we will focus on the so-called 'homeostatic biomarkers' that result from the physiological response to cancer, emphasizing the concept that an altered 'new' homeostasis influence not only tumour environment, but also the whole organism.
- Journal Article