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Research over the past decade has confirmed that epigenetic alterations act in concert with genetic lesions to deregulate gene expression in acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. In addition, we now have the capability to pharmaceutically target epigenetic modifications, and there is an urgent need forearly validation of the efficacy of the drugs. Also, an improved understanding of the functionality of epigenetic modifications may further pave the road towards an individualized therapy. Here, we provide the pros and cons of the currently most feasible methods used for characterizing the methylome in clinical samples, and give a brief introduction to novel approaches to sequencing that may revolutionize our abilities to characterize the genomes and epigenomes in acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome patients.
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