Histone deacetylase inhibitors and the promise of epigenetic (and more) treatments for cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2006 Jan;6(1):38-51. doi: 10.1038/nrc1779.


Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are considered to be among the most promising targets in drug development for cancer therapy, and first-generation histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are currently being tested in phase I/II clinical trials. A wide-ranging knowledge of the role of HDACs in tumorigenesis, and of the action of HDACi, has been achieved. However, several basic aspects are not yet fully understood. Investigating these aspects in the context of what we now understand about HDACi action both in vitro and in vivo will further improve the design of optimized clinical protocols.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / physiology
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors*
  • Histone Deacetylases / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Histone Deacetylases