PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
Next generation sequencing and large-scale analysis of patient specimens has created a more complete picture of multiple myeloma (MM) revealing that epigenetic deregulation is a prominent factor in MM pathogenesis.
Over half of MM patients have mutations in genes encoding epigenetic modifier enzymes. The DNA methylation profile of MM is related to the stage of the disease and certain classes of mutations in epigenetic modifiers are more prevalent upon disease relapse, suggesting a role in disease progression. Many small molecules targeting regulators of epigenetic machinery have been developed and clinical trials are underway for some of these in MM.
Recent findings suggest that epigenetic targeting drugs could be an important strategy to cure MM. Combining these agents along with other strategies to affect the MM cell such as immunomodulatory drugs and proteasome inhibitors may enhance efficacy of combination regimens in MM.