Clinical OMICS

MAR-APR 2017

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 8 of 47 March/April 2017 Clinical OMICs 7 Mapping a Lung Cancer Interactome to Isolate New Targets Think of cancer as a crime syndicate . Just as syndicate kingpin may go on the lam, a cancer-causing agent may become "undruggable." But that doesn't mean criminal activity, or cancer, must continue unchecked . Just as elusive gangsters may have relatively incautious associates that can be surveilled and brought to justice, elusive cancer-causing entities, such as malingering tumor suppressor genes, may have connections to molecular enti- ties that can be targeted . Both criminal enterprises and onco- genic processes can be studied to create organizational charts, which can be used to identify vulnerabilities and inform strategic action . In the case of cancer, such charts may have important blanks, such as tumor suppressor genes . No prob- lem . Follow the organizational lines, from interaction to interaction, all along the interactome . At some point, a druggable target, a vulnerable intermediary, may present itself . That's the approach advocated by scientists at Emory University . Like FBI agents tapping into a crime syndicate's communications, these scientists eavesdropped on a cancer 's signaling network and paid particular attention to protein-protein interactions (PPIs) . The results of this investigation appeared February 16 in the journal Nature Communications, in a paper entitled, "The OncoPPi network of cancer-focused protein–protein interactions to inform biological insights and therapeutic strategies." "We report the generation of a cancer-focused PPI network, termed OncoPPi, and identification of >260 cancer-associated PPIs not in other large-scale interac- tomes," wrote the article's authors. "PPI hubs reveal new regulatory mechanisms for cancer genes like MYC, STK11, RASSF1, and CDK4." The authors found associations between undruggable tumor suppressors and drug targets can inform therapeutic options . For example, based on OncoPPi-de- rived STK11-CDK4 connectivity, the scientists observed enhanced sensitivity of STK11-silenced lung cancer cells to the FDA-approved CDK4 inhibitor palbociclib . "Our approach is to place tumor suppressors in the context of a network of cancer-associated proteins and link tumor suppressors to drugs through a known drug target protein," said Haian Fu, Ph.D., a researcher at Emory's Winship Can- cer Institute, and the senior author of the current study . "In this way, changes in a tumor suppressor may be linked with the response of the target to the connected drug." Sutthaburawonk / Getty Images (continued on next page) de Fusco, Cynvenio's CEO. "With this new combined offering, we have demolished the cost barrier and integrated the biol- ogy, which will expand the availability of BRCA and hereditary cancer testing to more people who could benefit from it." Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are known risk factors for breast cancer. In addition to screening for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes associated with breast cancer risk, the Color Test also includes other genes associated with increased risk for the most com- mon hereditary cancers, including col- orectal, melanoma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, stomach, and uterine cancers. Once screening has been completed, Color makes available board-certified genetic counseling to both patients and clinicians. Cynvenio's ClearID Breast Cancer test analyzes DNA from multiple sources in the bloodstream, including circulating tumor cells (CTC), plasma or cell-free DNA (cfDNA), and germline DNA. The ClearID test was designed for patients undergoing treatment for advanced breast cancer and those requiring fol- low-up testing at regular intervals after completion of therapy. CTCA Debuts Comprehensive and Custom Oncology Treatment Platform Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), in collaboration with NantHealth and electronic health record (EHR) ven- dor Allscripts, has begun using a cus- tomized technical solution that provides NantHealth's eviti clinical decision sup- port tool with direct access to the clinical workflows in the Allscript Sunrise EHR. Clinical Pathways, the new system, provides broader and more relevant information about each patient's cancer

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