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      Spatial Genome Organization and Its Emerging Role as a Potential Diagnosis Tool

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          In eukaryotic cells the genome is highly spatially organized. Functional relevance of higher order genome organization is implied by the fact that specific genes, and even whole chromosomes, alter spatial position in concert with functional changes within the nucleus, for example with modifications to chromatin or transcription. The exact molecular pathways that regulate spatial genome organization and the full implication to the cell of such an organization remain to be determined. However, there is a growing realization that the spatial organization of the genome can be used as a marker of disease. While global genome organization patterns remain largely conserved in disease, some genes and chromosomes occupy distinct nuclear positions in diseased cells compared to their normal counterparts, with the patterns of reorganization differing between diseases. Importantly, mapping the spatial positioning patterns of specific genomic loci can distinguish cancerous tissue from benign with high accuracy. Genome positioning is an attractive novel biomarker since additional quantitative biomarkers are urgently required in many cancer types. Current diagnostic techniques are often subjective and generally lack the ability to identify aggressive cancer from indolent, which can lead to over- or under-treatment of patients. Proof-of-principle for the use of genome positioning as a diagnostic tool has been provided based on small scale retrospective studies. Future large-scale studies are required to assess the feasibility of bringing spatial genome organization-based diagnostics to the clinical setting and to determine if the positioning patterns of specific loci can be useful biomarkers for cancer prognosis. Since spatial reorganization of the genome has been identified in multiple human diseases, it is likely that spatial genome positioning patterns as a diagnostic biomarker may be applied to many diseases.

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          Most cited references 204

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          Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation

          The hallmarks of cancer comprise six biological capabilities acquired during the multistep development of human tumors. The hallmarks constitute an organizing principle for rationalizing the complexities of neoplastic disease. They include sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppressors, resisting cell death, enabling replicative immortality, inducing angiogenesis, and activating invasion and metastasis. Underlying these hallmarks are genome instability, which generates the genetic diversity that expedites their acquisition, and inflammation, which fosters multiple hallmark functions. Conceptual progress in the last decade has added two emerging hallmarks of potential generality to this list-reprogramming of energy metabolism and evading immune destruction. In addition to cancer cells, tumors exhibit another dimension of complexity: they contain a repertoire of recruited, ostensibly normal cells that contribute to the acquisition of hallmark traits by creating the "tumor microenvironment." Recognition of the widespread applicability of these concepts will increasingly affect the development of new means to treat human cancer. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Global cancer statistics, 2012.

            Cancer constitutes an enormous burden on society in more and less economically developed countries alike. The occurrence of cancer is increasing because of the growth and aging of the population, as well as an increasing prevalence of established risk factors such as smoking, overweight, physical inactivity, and changing reproductive patterns associated with urbanization and economic development. Based on GLOBOCAN estimates, about 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million deaths occurred in 2012 worldwide. Over the years, the burden has shifted to less developed countries, which currently account for about 57% of cases and 65% of cancer deaths worldwide. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among males in both more and less developed countries, and has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among females in more developed countries; breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among females in less developed countries. Other leading causes of cancer death in more developed countries include colorectal cancer among males and females and prostate cancer among males. In less developed countries, liver and stomach cancer among males and cervical cancer among females are also leading causes of cancer death. Although incidence rates for all cancers combined are nearly twice as high in more developed than in less developed countries in both males and females, mortality rates are only 8% to 15% higher in more developed countries. This disparity reflects regional differences in the mix of cancers, which is affected by risk factors and detection practices, and/or the availability of treatment. Risk factors associated with the leading causes of cancer death include tobacco use (lung, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer), overweight/obesity and physical inactivity (breast and colorectal cancer), and infection (liver, stomach, and cervical cancer). A substantial portion of cancer cases and deaths could be prevented by broadly applying effective prevention measures, such as tobacco control, vaccination, and the use of early detection tests. © 2015 American Cancer Society.
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              Cancer statistics, 2016.

              Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths that will occur in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival. Incidence data were collected by the National Cancer Institute (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results [SEER] Program), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (National Program of Cancer Registries), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Mortality data were collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2016, 1,685,210 new cancer cases and 595,690 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. Overall cancer incidence trends (13 oldest SEER registries) are stable in women, but declining by 3.1% per year in men (from 2009-2012), much of which is because of recent rapid declines in prostate cancer diagnoses. The cancer death rate has dropped by 23% since 1991, translating to more than 1.7 million deaths averted through 2012. Despite this progress, death rates are increasing for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and uterine corpus, and cancer is now the leading cause of death in 21 states, primarily due to exceptionally large reductions in death from heart disease. Among children and adolescents (aged birth-19 years), brain cancer has surpassed leukemia as the leading cause of cancer death because of the dramatic therapeutic advances against leukemia. Accelerating progress against cancer requires both increased national investment in cancer research and the application of existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population.

                Author and article information

                Front Genet
                Front Genet
                Front. Genet.
                Frontiers in Genetics
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                26 July 2016
                : 7
                Cell Biology of Genomes Group, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Joanna Mary Bridger, Brunel University London, UK

                Reviewed by: Justin Martin O’Sullivan, University of Auckland, New Zealand; Zong Wei, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA

                *Correspondence: Karen J. Meaburn, meaburnk@

                This article was submitted to Epigenomics and Epigenetics, a section of the journal Frontiers in Genetics

                Copyright © 2016 Meaburn.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Figures: 2, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 206, Pages: 18, Words: 0
                Funded by: U.S. Department of Defense 10.13039/100000005
                Award ID: W81XWH-12-1-0224
                Award ID: W81XWH-15-1-0322


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