The Dahlem Centre for Genome Research and Medical Systems Biology
Fighting the 'war on cancer'
We are entering the era of the global cancer tidal wave. Worldwide, the number of cancer cases are soaring and available drugs, including targeted therapies, are failing to make a significant impact on mortality statistics. The race is now on to find novel drugs and approaches that can respond to the global heath challenge of cancer. Current therapeutic strategies and methods for stratifying patients are failing to incorporate the significant heterogeneity exhibited by tumours both within and between individuals. Novel tools which incorporate this heterogeneity into the diagnostic and therapeutic strategy are urgently required.
Through our collaborations with leading academic, clinical and business partners, we are using state-of-the-art medical, analytic and modelling procedures to establish virtual tumour models, based on the comprehensive molecular characterisation of individual tumours and experimentally-derived patient tumour data. This modelling approach is applied to a translational medicine set-up, delivering personalised treatment recommendations, tailored to the individual molecular characteristics of each tumour.
In this way we identify which patients are more likely to respond to a particular drug or combination of drugs, improving the likelihood of a successful outcome.
"One in three people in the Western world develop cancer and one in five die of the disease"
(The Wellcome Trust, UK)
"Cancer deaths worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 12 million deaths in 2030"
(National Cancer Institute, USA)