Dr. Andrea Califano's Computational Modeling Techniques Gain National Attention
Dr. Andrea Califano and the Columbia Systems Biology Department have developed a series of computational modeling approaches to analyze the genomic and molecular profile of tumors and to identify the key proteins that drive and sustain them. These key proteins, called "master regulators," play a consistent role across different cancer types. This provides an opportunity to focus drug development on a relatively short list of biological targets that will provide effective treatments, alone or in combination with other drugs, in most human cancers.
In an article in Nature Reviews Cancer, Dr. Califano and Dr. Mariano J. Alvarez discuss this "oncotecture" of master regulators, work that was recently profiled in The Economist and The Wall Street Journal among other outlets. They have also launched a new kind of precision medicine approach called an "N-of-1" clinical trial to investigate master regulator analysis as an approach to more accurately diagnose and treat disease.
In another recent essay, published in Medscape on March 10th, Dr. Califano argues that a precision-focused approach based on this newly discovered oncotecture "offers the hope of making precision-based cancer medicine both more precise and available to virtually every cancer patient."