A two-pronged approach
The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center involves researchers from all disciplines working at every stage of the cancer problem. Some are analyzing how cancer behaves based on historical patient data. By mapping a patient’s cancer characteristics to other patients’ cancers and their treatment results, systems biology researchers hope to suggest treatments that can help many people immediately. (See Predicting the best treatment)
The other approach is more long term: by using systems biology to thoroughly understand how human cells function by themselves at a basic level, researchers hope to tackle the harder cancer problems and ultimately develop the optimal treatment for every cancer patient. (See Pursuit of the virtual cell)
Precision medicine of the future will rely on cancer systems biology research today.