Author(s): Wang E, Zaman N, Mcgee S, Milanese JS, MasoudiNejad A,
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Abstract Tumor genome sequencing leads to documenting thousands of DNA mutations and other genomic alterations. At present, these data cannot be analyzed adequately to aid in the understanding of tumorigenesis and its evolution. Moreover, we have little insight into how to use these data to predict clinical phenotypes and tumor progression to better design patient treatment. To meet these challenges, we discuss a cancer hallmark network framework for modeling genome sequencing data to predict cancer clonal evolution and associated clinical phenotypes. The framework includes: (1) cancer hallmarks that can be represented by a few molecular/signaling networks. 'Network operational signatures' which represent gene regulatory logics/strengths enable to quantify state transitions and measures of hallmark traits. Thus, sets of genomic alterations which are associated with network operational signatures could be linked to the state/measure of hallmark traits. The network operational signature transforms genotypic data (i.e., genomic alterations) to regulatory phenotypic profiles (i.e., regulatory logics/strengths), to cellular phenotypic profiles (i.e., hallmark traits) which lead to clinical phenotypic profiles (i.e., a collection of hallmark traits). Furthermore, the framework considers regulatory logics of the hallmark networks under tumor evolutionary dynamics and therefore also includes: (2) a self-promoting positive feedback loop that is dominated by a genomic instability network and a cell survival/proliferation network is the main driver of tumor clonal evolution. Surrounding tumor stroma and its host immune systems shape the evolutionary paths; (3) cell motility initiating metastasis is a byproduct of the above self-promoting loop activity during tumorigenesis; (4) an emerging hallmark network which triggers genome duplication dominates a feed-forward loop which in turn could act as a rate-limiting step for tumor formation; (5) mutations and other genomic alterations have specific patterns and tissue-specificity, which are driven by aging and other cancer-inducing agents. This framework represents the logics of complex cancer biology as a myriad of phenotypic complexities governed by a limited set of underlying organizing principles. It therefore adds to our understanding of tumor evolution and tumorigenesis, and moreover, potential usefulness of predicting tumors' evolutionary paths and clinical phenotypes. Strategies of using this framework in conjunction with genome sequencing data in an attempt to predict personalized drug targets, drug resistance, and metastasis for cancer patients, as well as cancer risks for healthy individuals are discussed. Accurate prediction of cancer clonal evolution and clinical phenotypes will have substantial impact on timely diagnosis, personalized treatment and personalized prevention of cancer. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Semin Cancer Biol
and referenced in Diagnostic Pathology: Open Access