Epigenetics is the study of how our behaviours and environments can change the way our genes work without altering our DNA sequences. Both epigenetic and genetic alterations can play a role in the onset and progression of various cancers. As Canada Research Chair in Cancer Epigenetics and Epigenetic Therapy, Dr. Daniel De Carvalho is studying epigenetics to develop new strategies for detecting, monitoring and treating cancer, with a particular focus on colorectal cancer.
Specifically, he and his research team are investigating how epigenetic alterations in gene activity influence the immune system in cancer. By better understanding the epigenetic profiles of cancers, De Carvalho and his team aim to develop minimally invasive methods to detect cancer earlier and monitor patients’ responses to treatment. While their focus is on colorectal cancer, their results will contribute new knowledge to cancer research in general.