Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cancer Research Funding And Major Questions

In my previous posts I have extensively reviewed about the importance of personalised medicine and companies which offers these services on commercial basis. This blog piece is intended for the health care professionals, academicians, students and post doctoral researchers to check about various opportunities in the field of cancer medicine and biology.

Identification of New Essential Genes In Human Genome 

A study was published recently in science magazine by collaborating efforts of MIT, Broad institute, Harvard Medical School and Whitehead Institute provided insight into bacterial clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) system to screen for genes required for proliferation and survival in human cancer cell.  Their efforts identified 300 genes most of them located in nucleolus that were previously uncharacterised. And most of the genes consists of domains associated to RNA processing. This study may play an important role in identification of novel potential drug targets for various cancers. Their results suggested the use of CRISPR-based screens and a general strategy for identifying liabilities in cancer cells.

Published work can be accessed here

Perhaps, this may also aid in the ongoing efforts of Personalised Cancer Medicine by Pathway Pharmaceuticals and Insilco Inc.

Recently, Cancer Research UK has announced £100 million for answering most important questions in the field of cancer medicine and biology. More details about this funding opportunity can be seen here.

Important questions in cancer research:

a) Vaccine therapy for cancer not caused by virus

b) Irradiate cancer caused by Epstein Bar virus

c) Preventing cancer by studying DNA damage caused by carcinogens

d) Diagnosis of cancer

e) Google street view for cancer

f) Targeting supper controller MYC gene

g) Development of smart drug for cancer therapy

More details of these important questions can be read from here.

Please post your suggestions and comments !!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Success of cancer chemotherapy a mis-interpreted fact?

Treatment with anticancer drugs has been one of the most conventional ways of treating cancers. However, there has been some sensational claims (as shown in the above video), which says that about 97% failure rates with chemotherapy. There has been difficulty in locating the scientific publication, which can prove this claim.

However, it is a reality that there has been drug limiting and dose limiting toxicities of chemotherapy drugs.  These are the major hurdle in the success of chemotherapy as can be seen in publication made by Lyman GH in 2009. Hence, following method of personalised medicine as per the need of individual cancer patient becomes need of an hour. It may increase the success rate of cancer medicine.

 It is fascinating to imagine the increase in chances of having proper chemotherapy. But it is still a SuperMan Challenge.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Personalised cancer treatment by Pathway Pharmaceuticals & Insilco Inc.

In 2014 scientists from Pathway Pharmaceuticals had developed OncoFinder algorithm that was published in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences.

Moreover, it is also important to understand that chemotherapy is the most conventional form of treatment for variety of cancers. Journey of a drug from a laboratory to human use normal takes >25 years. After all the rigorous and stringent process we have access to safe product for human use. In-spite of this, anti-cancer chemotherapy faces a major challenge of drug and dose related toxicity issues. It is ironical to say that the drug approved for a particular cancer therapy may prove to be in-effective due to the variations in cellular dynamics of same cancer in different individuals. As a result safely designed drug may prove to be effective in one but ineffective in others. Hence, Pathway Pharmaceuticals have come up with a unique and scientific method of providing best possible treatment for cancers.

In recent paper published in OncoTargets by Artem Artenov et al (co authored by Dr. Alex Zavaronkov) of Pathway Pharmaceuticals and Insilco Medicine Inc, developed a pioneering scientific method of predicting cancer target drug efficacy based on genetic signatures of individual tumor samples. They developed a computational algorithm which helps them to predict the most efficient drug that can be used for the treatment of cancer and help in survival of an individual on a personalised basis. The method was validated and has proven to be successful with variety of cancers as shown their scientific finding.

The original paper is open access it can be downloaded from here

Academicians and scientists interested for conference in personalised medicine can visit here

Monday, May 4, 2015

Insilico Medicine SuperPharman Challenge: Looking for Superheroes to Fight Cancer and Aging

Super Heroes Needed at Insilico Medicine to Fight Cancer and Age-related Diseases

Aging fighters at Insilico Medicine are looking for relentless doers who dream big, but are not afraid to get their hands dirty with basic tasks. Doers, who have trouble sleeping at night, because they know that millions of people are suffering and dying of cancer and age-related diseases and their own clock is ticking as well. Doers with both programming and database management skills and knowledge of biology. You will need to know or quickly learn how to use huge multi-omics data to find alternative uses of currently available drugs and distribute many micro tasks to the crowd, freelancers or colleagues, while keeping the big picture in mind. 

We know that we are looking for a needle in the haystack, but this is how our team has come to be and you will be in great company. We have relentless super heroes in the US, UK, Switzerland, Poland, Israel, Russia and China. If you know someone amazing, who fits that profile amazing, ask him. Maybe he or she is already working for us. He goes through the day doing a boring academic job, but at night he is hacking away.

Our first frontier is transforming the pharmaceutical industry, repurposing known drugs and finding the new ones. When we launch, the world will become a better place. And if you are that super hero with bold ideas and hands on experience, ready to unleash maniacal energy to hack aging, send us a signal and we will respond right away or start watching you to see if you fit.

Here is a link to what Insilico Medicine is doing: 

In partnerships they can also do in vitro and in vivo validation, humouse clinical trials and even organ-on-a-chip and body-on-a-chip validation. 
They are looking for someone with similar skill set and energy as Alex Zhavoronkov (www.linkedin.com/in/zhavoronkov) to work together with him, gradually replace him and then find someone to replace yourself as the company grows or you decide to start a subsidiary. 

Minimum requirements:
  • Python, MySQL, Hadoop, AWS Services, IBM Watson
  • Experience working with multi-omics data and/or clinical trials/biomedical text data
  • SVM and deep learning algorithms
  • Basic knowledge of signaling and metabolic pathways
  • Experience working with GEO, ArrayExpress, KEGG, TCGA, LINCS, Connectivity Map, Drugbank, Clinical Trials, WHO databases, etc.
  • Personal network of contacts in academia and large pharmaceutical companies
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Ability to give public talks and generate publicity is a plus
  • Knowledge of Russian, Chinese or Hebrew is a plus

Sunday, January 4, 2015

From cancer to longevity and policy

Here is a great conference to attend in February

Friday, October 3, 2014

Everyday drugs could give extra years of life - New Scientist

Great article on New Scientist by the talented science journalist Clare Wilson covering the Aging Forum.

Everyday drugs could give extra years of life - health - 01 October 2014 - New Scientist

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pathway Pharmaceuticals developed a method for analyzing transcriptomic data in a platform-agnostic manner

Scientists from Pathway Pharmaceuticals and the Biogerontology Research Foundation (BGRF), a UK-based charity founded to support ageing research and address the challenges of a rapidly ageing population, propose a new concept for signalome-wide analysis of changes in intracellular pathways, called OncoFinder, which allows for accurate and robust cross-platform analysis of gene expression data. This new technique will allow scientists to derive useful information from and compare the hundreds of thousands of data sets obtained using legacy equipment as well as data sets obtained from biological samples preserved in paraffin blocks and partially-degraded samples.

The original research, published in the journal Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, shows that the OncoFinder method significantly reduces errors introduced by transcriptome-wide experimental techniques. Scientists compared gene expression data for the same biological samples obtained by both next generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray methods, finding that these different techniques have almost no correlation between the gene expression values for all datasets analysed. In contrast, when the OncoFinder algorithm is applied to the data, a clear correlation between next generation sequencing and microarray gene expression datasets was seen.

“For several years the potential for the use of gene expression data in research and clinical applications has been underappreciated due to the inconsistency of the data coming from the various types of equipment. There is just too much variation and complexity when comparing the massive number of individual genes. But when this complexity is reduced and the gene expression is mapped onto signalling pathways, we can evaluate the pathway activation drift and analyse the changes and transitions much more effectively. The OncoFinder algorithm enables scientists to characterise the functional states of transcriptomes more accurately than before and we hope that this will become a method of choice in genetics, physiology, biomedicine and molecular diagnostics,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, director of the BGRF and co-author of the study.

The original research paper is available to view and download here.

Signal Transduction Pathways

Signal Transduction Pathways
RTK, GPCR, GF, Cytokine, Wnt, Death Factors & Shh pathways