Touching millions of life: Translating Cancer Genome Big Data to Personalized Cancer Therapy

Seminar Date: 
Seminar Time: 
11am - 12pm
Seminar Location: 
5607 Baum Boulevard, Room 407A
Xinghua Lu, MD, PhD
Presenter's Institution: 
University of Pittsburgh

Cancer is a disease resulting from genome alterations.   Contemporary biotechnologies make genome-scale data from individual patients readily available, and personalized precision medicine based on specific genomic alterations of individual tumors presents promises of more effective therapy.   However, there are 3 major gaps hinder the translation from genome data  to personalized precision therapy.  First, a cancer tumor often hosts hundreds to a thousand somatic genome alterations (SGAs), with some being drivers and the majority being passengers, and the methods for determining the drivers (thereby the targets of therapy) of a given tumor remains missing.  Second, majority of genes contributing to cancer development are “undruggable”, and it remains a largely unsolved problem to map driver SGAs to targetable pathways.  Third, cancer results from orchestrated  perturbation of multiple pathways, it is a challenge to find combinatorial  patterns of pathway perturbations and then design efficient combination therapy for a specific patient.  In this seminar, I will discuss novel computational approaches and preliminary results for filling the above gaps through mining comprehensive cancer genome big data from the TCGA.