Bayesian Inference Identifies Combination Therapeutic Targets in Breast Cancer. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among US women; hence, identifying potential drug targets is an ever increasing need. In this paper, we integrate existing biological information with graphical models to deduce the significant nodes in the breast cancer signaling pathway. METHODS: We make use of biological information from the literature to develop a Bayesian network. Using the relevant gene expression data we estimate the parameters of this network. Then, using a message passing algorithm, we infer the network. The inferred network is used to quantitatively rank different interventions for achieving a desired phenotypic outcome. The particular phenotype considered here is the induction of apoptosis. RESULTS: Theoretical analysis pinpoints to the role of Cryptotanshinone, a compound found in traditional Chinese herbs, as a potent modulator for bringing about cell death in the treatment of cancer. CONCLUSION: Using a mathematical framework, we showed that the combination therapy of mTOR and STAT3 genes yields the best apoptosis in breast cancer. SIGNIFICANCE: The computational results we arrived at are consistent with the experimental results that we obtained using Cryptotanshinone on MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines and also by the past results of others from the literature, thereby demonstrating the effectiveness of our model.

published proceedings

  • IEEE Trans Biomed Eng

author list (cited authors)

  • Vundavilli, H., Datta, A., Sima, C., Hua, J., Lopes, R., & Bittner, M.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Vundavilli, Haswanth||Datta, Aniruddha||Sima, Chao||Hua, Jianping||Lopes, Rosana||Bittner, Michael

publication date

  • September 2019