The balance of histone acetylation and deacetylation is an epigenetic layer with a critical role in the regulation of gene expression. Histone acetylation induced by histone acetyl transferases (HATs) is associated with gene transcription, while histone hypoacetylation induced by histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity is associated with gene silencing. Altered expression and mutations of genes that encode HDACs have been linked to tumor development since they both induce the aberrant transcription of key genes regulating important cellular functions such as cell proliferation, cell-cycle regulation and apoptosis. Thus, HDACs are among the most promising therapeutic targets for cancer treatment, and they have inspired researchers to study and develop HDAC inhibitors.