Biomedical Informatics for Cancer Research

by Michael F. Ochs, John T. Casagrande & Ramana V. Davuluri
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eBook

Publisher: Springer US

Publication Date: March 07, 2016

ISBN: 9781441957146

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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view, showing that multiple molecular pathways must be affected for cancer to develop, but with different specific proteins in each pathway mutated or differentially expressed in a given tumor (The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network 2008; Parsons et al. 2008). Different studies demonstrated that while widespread mutations exist in cancer, not all mutations drive cancer development (Lin et al. 2007). This suggests a need to target only a deleterious subset of aberrant proteins, since any tre- ment must aim to improve health to justify its potential side effects. Treatment for cancer must become highly individualized, focusing on the specific aberrant driver proteins in an individual. This drives a need for informatics in cancer far beyond the need in other diseases. For instance, routine treatment with statins has become widespread for minimizing heart disease, with most patients responding to standard doses (Wilt et al. 2004). In contrast, standard treatment for cancer must become tailored to the molecular phenotype of an individual tumor, with each patient receiving a different combination of therapeutics aimed at the specific aberrant proteins driving the cancer. Tracking the aberrations that drive cancers, identifying biomarkers unique to each individual for molecular-level di- nosis and treatment response, monitoring adverse events and complex dosing schedules, and providing annotated molecular data for ongoing research to improve treatments comprise a major biomedical informatics need.