Speaker: Christina Curtis, PhD, MSc, Departments of Medicine and Genetics. Stanford University. Stanford. USA
Organizers: IRB Barcelona
Date: Friday 27 September, 12.00h
Place: Auditorium, Parc Cientific de Barcelona
Host: Nuria Lopez-Bigas, PhD - IRB Barcelona
Metastasis, often preceded or accompanied by therapeutic resistance, is the most lethal and insidious aspect of cancer. To date, the molecular and microenvironmental determinants of metastasis are largely unknown, as is the timing of systemic spread, hindering effective treatment and prevention efforts. In this talk I will describe several vignettes that highlight the power of computational and systems biology approaches to discover and validate robust cancer biomarkers. First, I will describe a powerful statistical model to capture the dynamics of breast cancer relapse and its application to a cohort of nearly 2000 breast cancers with detailed genomic information and long-term clinical follow-up (Rueda et al. Nature 2019). Second, I will describe a systems biology framework to elucidate the role of chromatin state in mediating response to a common class of chemotherapeutic agents, drawing on both in vitro and in vivo data with implications for breast cancer patient stratification and treatment decision making (Seoane et al. Nature Medicine in press). Lastly, I will discuss genomic and spatial proteomic techniques to characterize clonal dynamics and changes in the tumor and immune microenvironment through neoadjuvant therapy towards the goal of predicting treatment response. Throughout, I will discuss context dependencies that underlie disease progression and how this may inform strategies for patient stratification and therapeutic targeting.