Omics/systems biology and cancer cachexia



Gallagher IJ, Jacobi C, Tardif N, Rooyackers O & Fearon KCH (2016) Omics/systems biology and cancer cachexia. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, 54, pp. 92-103.

Cancer cachexia is a complex syndrome generated by interaction between the host and tumour cells with a background of treatment effects and toxicity. The complexity of the physiological pathways likely involved in cancer cachexia necessitates a holistic view of the relevant biology. Emergent properties are characteristic of complex systems with the result that the end result is more than the sum of its parts. Recognition of the importance of emergent properties in biology led to the concept of systems biology wherein a holistic approach is taken to the biology at hand. Systems biology approaches will therefore play an important role in work to uncover key mechanisms with therapeutic potential in cancer cachexia. The ‘omics' technologies provide a global view of biological systems. Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics approaches all have application in the study of cancer cachexia to generate systems level models of the behaviour of this syndrome. The current work reviews recent applications of these technologies to muscle atrophy in general and cancer cachexia in particular with a view to progress towards integration of these approaches to better understand the pathology and potential treatment pathways in cancer cachexia.

cancer cachexia; muscle wasting; Systems Biology

Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology: Volume 54

Publication date30/06/2016
Publication date online16/01/2016
Date accepted by journal30/12/2015