Driver network as a biomarker: systematic integration and network modeling of multi-omics data to derive driver signaling pathways for drug combination prediction. Academic Article uri icon


  • MOTIVATION: Drug combinations that simultaneously suppress multiple cancer driver signaling pathways increase therapeutic options and may reduce drug resistance. We have developed a computational systems biology tool, DrugComboExplorer, to identify driver signaling pathways and predict synergistic drug combinations by integrating the knowledge embedded in vast amounts of available pharmacogenomics and omics data. RESULTS: This tool generates driver signaling networks by processing DNA sequencing, gene copy number, DNA methylation and RNA-seq data from individual cancer patients using an integrated pipeline of algorithms, including bootstrap aggregating-based Markov random field, weighted co-expression network analysis and supervised regulatory network learning. It uses a systems pharmacology approach to infer the combinatorial drug efficacies and synergy mechanisms through drug functional module-induced regulation of target expression analysis. Application of our tool on diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and prostate cancer demonstrated how synergistic drug combinations can be discovered to inhibit multiple driver signaling pathways. Compared with existing computational approaches, DrugComboExplorer had higher prediction accuracy based on invitro experimental validation and probability concordance index. These results demonstrate that our network-based drug efficacy screening approach can reliably prioritize synergistic drug combinations for cancer and uncover potential mechanisms of drug synergy, warranting further studies in individual cancer patients to derive personalized treatment plans. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: DrugComboExplorer is available at SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

published proceedings

  • Bioinformatics

altmetric score

  • 1.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, L., Brunell, D., Stephan, C., Mancuso, J., Yu, X., He, B., ... Wong, S.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Huang, Lei||Brunell, David||Stephan, Clifford||Mancuso, James||Yu, Xiaohui||He, Bin||Thompson, Timothy C||Zinner, Ralph||Kim, Jeri||Davies, Peter||Wong, Stephen TC

editor list (cited editors)

  • Birol, I.

publication date

  • January 2019