Computational systems biology of cancer by Barillot, Emmanuel

By Barillot, Emmanuel

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This paradigm shift is needed to make sense out of all the results of molecular biology, which though impressive fall short in extending our understanding of life, and converting this knowledge to practical realisations in health, environment or agriculture domains. Establishing a road map of systems biology should therefore be a priority. eu/): “The concept of a virtual physical human is a sophisticated computer modelling tool, which compares observations of an individual patient and relates them to a vast dataset of observations of others with similar symptoms and known conditions.

Altogether this situation calls for improvements in cancer prevention, but also of course in cancer treatment, and in particular the development of new drugs. Early detection of tumours is also a crucial factor impacting the chances of successful treatment. But developing new drugs is now more and more difficult, and more and more expensive. The reasons why the pipeline for drug discovery is not so fruitful are multiple, but in particular many drugs in development show limited efficacy, and present off-target effects∗ and toxicity to other cells.

Introduction: Why systems biology of cancer? 9 terpretation). Even more striking, the acceleration of the trend is not over, and single molecule techniques and laser-free sequencing chips are promising yet higher throughputs and lower costs of sequencing devices and consumables (see Chapter 3). In a near future, one can anticipate that genome sequencing will be routinely used in medical practice, pushing biology in the petabyte era and accentuating the demand for high performance storage and computing, bioinformatics and computational systems biology algorithms and tools (see Chapter 4 for informatics and bioinformatics aspects).

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