15 Juillet 2011
Professor Edison Liu, Executive Director of the Genome Institute of Singapore, talks about his teams work.
Cancer is a complex disease which is caused by multiple genetic and epigenetic changes. In addition, cancer is a genetic moving target capable of mutating into resistant or more aggressive forms. Prof Liu's team have employed a strategy of using genomic data to reconstruct systems maps of critical regulatory networks, identify critical nodes in the oncogenetic network and target them in order to induce cell death and cell differentiation. This genome-to-system approach was used to quickly uncover the complex mechanisms of action of a protein that induces the death of cancer cells but not in normal cells. Prof. Liu explains how genomic mapping will be used to decide patient eligibility for this treatment and notes that considering this therapy targets a process rather than a specific cancer; it will be useful when treating a number of different cancers.