An Engineering Approach Towards Personalized Cancer Therapy
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Cells behave as complex systems with regulatory processes that make use of many elements such as switches based on thresholds, memory, feedback, error-checking, and other components commonly encountered in electrical engineering. It is therefore not surprising that these complex systems are amenable to study by engineering methods. A great deal of effort has been spent on observing how cells store, modify, and use information. Still, an understanding of how one uses this knowledge to exert control over cells within a living organism is unavailable. Our prime objective is "Personalized Cancer Therapy" which is based on characterizing the treatment for every individual cancer patient. Knowing how one can systematically alter the behavior of an abnormal cancerous cell will lead towards personalized cancer therapy. Towards this objective, it is required to construct a model for the regulation of the cell and utilize this model to devise effective treatment strategies. The proposed treatments will have to be validated experimentally, but selecting good treatment candidates is a monumental task by itself. It is also a process where an analytic approach to systems biology can provide significant breakthrough. In this dissertation, theoretical frameworks towards effective treatment strategies in the context of probabilistic Boolean networks, a class of gene regulatory networks, are addressed. These proposed analytical tools provide insight into the design of effective therapeutic interventions.
SubjectGene Regulatory Networks
Vahedi, Golnaz (2009). An Engineering Approach Towards Personalized Cancer Therapy. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from