I³MS - Rodriguez Seminar
Prof. Dr. Julio Saez-Rodriguez - Computational Models to Understand and Combat Cancer
Joint Research Centre for Computational Biomedicine (JRC-COMBINE), RWTH Aachen University Hospital
Predicting the response of a patient to targeted therapies based on molecular markers is a major goal in modern oncology. As a model of the heterogeneous response of patients to treatment, large panels of cancer cell lines are treated with therapeutic compounds. I will describe our work in collaboration with the Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer project at the Sanger Institute to predict drug sensitivity from genomic features of the cancer cell lines and chemical features of the compounds. Genomic and chemical data is integrated with various sources of prior knowledge whenever possible. These models also point at molecular processes involved in resistance mechanisms, thus proposing systems to further analyze. These processes are often part of signaling networks, which are also the target of many therapeutics. Mathematical mechanistic models can be built based on our knowledge of signaling pathways and phosphoproteomic data upon perturbation with drugs and ligands. These models allow to analyze biochemically the deregulation of signaling networks in cancer, and how drugs interact with them. These models can improve our understanding of drug’s mode of action and drug resistance, as well as to help to identify novel therapeutic opportunities.