Blog Dr. Califano’s New Therapy Options Technology

Dr. Andrea Califano finds new Therapy Options through using patient’s tumor tissue and a Systems Biology technology at Columbia Univ. 

 Here is the link:  N-of-1 Clinical Trials and Precision Medicine for Cancer

ICARE’s paraphrased description of Dr. Califano’s trial to discover new therapeutic options on an individual patient basis is shown next. 

Current N-of-1 cancer clinical trials

Columbia University Medical Center is currently recruiting 260 patients to participate in personalized, N-of-1 clinical trials in Breast Cancer and certain other types of cancer.

During the single patient’ clinical trial (i.e the patient is the N-of-1) the steps are:

  • tumor tissue removed from patient during surgery and sent to Dr Califano’s lab at Columbia, undergoes whole genome DNA sequencing and RNA expression analysis.
  • Researchers in our laboratory then analyze this information within the context of models of gene regulation that are specific to that tumor type.
  • Dr Califano’s computer algorithms analysis allows Califano lab members to identify the distinctive master regulators that are required for the cancerous activity in that specific patient’s tumor.
  • The lab then search for existing FDA-approved drugs — or drugs currently at advanced stages of clinical testing — that are known to target those master regulators.
  • Suitable drugs are immediately tested on the patient’s tumor sample, either in cell culture or after being implanted into a mouse model (technically called a patient-derived xenograft, or PDX), to determine if the compound stops tumor growth.
  • If treatment is effective, it may be investigated further in a more traditional clinical trial.
  • Providing patients with clinical treatment is beyond the scope of this current round of N-of-1 clinical trials, but if actionable information is found for an individual patient, it may be shared with his or her physician.

Califano Laboratory of Systems Biology
Columbia University Medical Center
Herbert Irving Cancer Research Center
1130 St. Nicholas Avenue
New York, NY 10032, USA