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WIREs Syst Biol Med
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Genome network medicine: innovation to overcome huge challenges in cancer therapy

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The post‐ENCODE era shapes now a new biomedical research direction for understanding transcriptional and signaling networks driving gene expression and core cellular processes such as cell fate, survival, and apoptosis. Over the past half century, the Francis Crick ‘central dogma’ of single n gene/protein‐phenotype (trait/disease) has defined biology, human physiology, disease, diagnostics, and drugs discovery. However, the ENCODE project and several other genomic studies using high‐throughput sequencing technologies, computational strategies, and imaging techniques to visualize regulatory networks, provide evidence that transcriptional process and gene expression are regulated by highly complex dynamic molecular and signaling networks. This Focus article describes the linear experimentation‐based limitations of diagnostics and therapeutics to cure advanced cancer and the need to move on from reductionist to network‐based approaches. With evident a wide genomic heterogeneity, the power and challenges of next‐generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to identify a patient's personal mutational landscape for tailoring the best target drugs in the individual patient are discussed. However, the available drugs are not capable of targeting aberrant signaling networks and research on functional transcriptional heterogeneity and functional genome organization is poorly understood. Therefore, the future clinical genome network medicine aiming at overcoming multiple problems in the new fields of regulatory DNA mapping, noncoding RNA, enhancer RNAs, and dynamic complexity of transcriptional circuitry are also discussed expecting in new innovation technology and strong appreciation of clinical data and evidence‐based medicine. The problematic and potential solutions in the discovery of next‐generation, molecular, and signaling circuitry‐based biomarkers and drugs are explored. WIREs Syst Biol Med 2014, 6:201–208. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1254

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Biological Mechanisms > Regulatory Biology
Translational, Genomic, and Systems Medicine > Therapeutic Methods
Laboratory Methods and Technologies > Genetic/Genomic Methods

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In the Spotlight

Jens Nielsen

Jens Nielsen
is a Professor in the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden. His research focus is on systems biology of metabolism. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the lab’s key organism for experimental research, but they also work with Aspergilli oryzae.

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