Cancer is a disease in the genome, a complex system, where one or more mutation genes lead to abnormal cell proliferation. In theory, there are about 200 types of cancer that correspond to about 200 types of cells throughout the human body parts. In each cell, there is a network of cancer-causing genes called cancer signaling network, whose structure is typical for each type of cancer cell. Early diagnosis and treatment of each type of cancer is often based on understanding of the structural characteristics of the cancer signaling network.
When analyzing network data of 16 types of the most common cancers by analysis techniques of Complex Networks, Dr. Tran Tien Dzung, a lecturer at Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Hanoi University of Industry and the international research team, has discovered that HC entropy of a cancer signaling network reveals 5-year survival rate of the cancer. In other words, if structure of the cancer signaling network is more intertwined, survival rate of the cancer gets lower even this intertwinement makes the genome more robust against mutation. This finding suggests that the more intertwined cancer’s signaling network is, the more difficult to treat the cancer becomes because the network structure is robust against the effects of molecular therapy. Each type of cancer can be detected early by measuring the expression level of special genes called biomarker genes. Locating cancer biomarker genes is still being conducted by biomedical researchers because if cancer is detected early, it can push down the number of cancer deaths (Vietnam has more than 94,700 cancer patients dead every year, source Cancer Index 2012). The research team proposed a novel method to identify the R-core of a networked system and detected various biomarker genes residing in the innermost cores of 16 cancer signaling networks. List of the biomarker genes of the most common 16 cancer types found in this study are a reliable source for the development of cancer-screening biochips (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The research proposes a method to locate biomarker genes from the human signaling network, supporting for manufacture of cancer-screening biochips
This research has used a modern technique of complex system analysis to locate biomarker genes of the most common 16 cancer types, contributing to current cancer treatments. The full text of the study is published at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199109
Tran T-D, Kwon Y-K (2018) Hierarchical closeness-based properties reveal cancer survivability and biomarker genes in molecular signaling networks. PLoS ONE 13(6): e0199109.
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