The genome era provides two sources of knowledge to investigators whose goal is to discover new cancer therapies: first, information on the 20,000 to 40,000 genes that comprise the human genome, the proteins they encode, and the variation in these genes and proteins in human populations that place individuals at risk or that occur in disease; second, genome-wide analysis of cancer cells and tissues leads to the identification of new drug targets and the design of new therapeutic interventions. Using genome resources requires the storage and analysis of large amounts of diverse information on genetic variation, gene and protein functions, and interactions in regulatory processes and biochemical pathways. Cancer bioinformatics deals with organizing and analyzing the data so that important trends and patterns can be identified. Specific gene and protein targets on which cancer cells depend can be identified. Therapeutic agents directed against these targets can then be developed and evaluated. Finally, molecular and genetic variation within a population may become the basis of individualized treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research