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Dynamics of epigenetic plasticity in cancer

Considerable data have been accumulated across the past decades on the role of mutations in cancer. However, while a number of genetic mechanisms driving tumor progression or resistance processes has been discovered, in many cases genetic mechanisms driving these processes cannot be found, raising the possibility of non-genetic plasticity or rare cell variability. Hence, besides genetic mechanisms, mounting efforts now concentrate on non-genetic and particularly epigenetic mechanisms that may account for the adaptability of cancer cells to environmental, metabolic or therapy-related stresses. In the labwe focus on the study of chromatin landscapes, and develop approaches to study the heterogeneity and dynamics of chromatin landscapes at single-cell resolution both in vitro and in vivo in breast cancer. Our goal is to reveal the timing of occurrence of chromatin alterations, address their stability over time, and their association to the cellular phenotype.

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