Epigenetic alterations of testicular germ cell tumours.

Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) exhibit, in contrast to other cancer types, a relatively low mutational burden. However, numerous epigenetic alterations have been shown to impact TGCT. In this review, we summarize the most relevant findings of the past 2 years.

Recent studies focused on the functions of microRNAs and the impact of aberrant DNA methylation. Moreover, several epigenetic drugs with antineoplastic effects in TGCTs were identified.

Aberrant DNA methylation and differentially expressed microRNAs have an important effect on TGCT pathogenesis. Moreover, differential DNA methylation patterns were found to be specific for different TGCT subtypes. Various microRNAs, such as miR-371a-3p, were found to be highly sensitive and specific biomarkers for TGCT. The epigenetic drugs guadecitabine, animacroxam, and JQ1 showed promising effects on TGCT in preclinical in-vivo and in-vitro studies.

Current opinion in urology. 2020 Jan 03 [Epub ahead of print]

Dafina Ilijazi, Shahrok F Shariat, Melanie R Hassler, Ursula Lemberger, Iris E Ertl

Department of Urology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.