In a focus article recently published in Science Signaling (Sci. Signal. 22 Jan 2019), Michael Yaffe suggests a different way of looking at cancer and analyzing the pathology of this disease. he claims that because cancer research started with genetic research, cancer is still considered as a genetic disease; genetics research looked at the mutations and DNA structure and claimed that events in nucleic acids are the first cause of cancer occurrence, and therefore are the base that need to be treated. Current knowledge and research that is conducted nowadays, suggests otherwise, he claims. Since we see that most therapies to cancer are not based on genetics, but rather on cellular signaling, and since there are proofs that genetics benefits for the cells are not the main drivers for cancer progression, cancer should not be approached as genetics/genomics disease, but as cell signaling disease. For this to be relevant to cancer treatment he suggest developing new tools that will be able to “describe” patient cancer more accurately. These tools should be based on protein signaling, post transcriptional modifications and other cellular and extracellular processes. Those should be used for diagnosis and prognostics assessment of each cancer patient. In the bottom figure he elaborates the current methods that can be of use to analyze patients and treatment outcome and suggests developing more precise and accurate ways to enable research lab technics to become cancer assessment tools. At Novellus DX we are practically implementing Yaffes suggestions into useful diagnostics tools. using our FACT system, we predict tumor driver proteins and follow the signaling progress of the patients’ cancer. Moreover, we are developing a system to predict response to drugs, based on cell signaling. Our approach can provide the disease overall lookout that is currently needed in the field of cancer diagnostics.
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