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Computing cancer's weak spots

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Science  12 Jun 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6496, pp. 1174-1177
DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6496.1174

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Summary

Andrea Califano, a systems biologist at Columbia University, identifies potential cancer drugs with the help of algorithms. The idea is to model the molecular networks that sustain cancer cells and pinpoint proteins called transcription factors that act as linchpins, controlling the behavior of many genes inside a cell. Target those master regulators, as Califano calls them, and you will stop cancer in its tracks, no matter what mutation initially caused it. By taking aim at those linchpins, oncologists might be able to treat diverse cancers, driven by thousands of different mutations, with just a few dozen drugs. The approach is in early stages of human testing, although its clinical usefulness remains uncertain.

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