Biology to bedside
Mining molecular data for cancer prognosis
How will a cancer patient fare with treatment? By mining readily available data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, scientists hope to answer this question by examining molecular information and traditional clinical variables such as age or tumor stage. Their goal is translating biological data into clinical use.
The Cancer Genome Atlas is supported by the National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to look at genomic changes in more than 20 types of cancer.
Han Liang, Ph.D., assistant professor in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at MD Anderson, conducted a multi-institutional study of data from lung, ovarian, brain and kidney cancers. An article published online in the journal Nature Biotechnology reveals that molecular profiling, while still in its infancy, may eventually hold promise for cancer patient prognosis.
“By analyzing data from multiple cancer types, we could evaluate prognostic models and identify gene alterations that led to tumors,” says Liang.
The study was funded by the NIH, the National Cancer Institute-MD Anderson Cancer Center Uterine SPORE career development award, the George S. Hogan estate and the Lorraine Dell Program in Bioinformatics for Personalization of Cancer Medicine funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.