Integrative network analysis identifies potential targets and drugs for ovarian cancer

Tianyu Zhang, Liwei Zhang, Fuhai Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Though accounts for 2.5% of all cancers in female, the death rate of ovarian cancer is high, which is the fifth leading cause of cancer death (5% of all cancer death) in female. The 5-year survival rate of ovarian cancer is less than 50%. The oncogenic molecular signaling of ovarian cancer are complicated and remain unclear, and there is a lack of effective targeted therapies for ovarian cancer treatment. Methods: In this study, we propose to investigate activated signaling pathways of individual ovarian cancer patients and sub-groups; and identify potential targets and drugs that are able to disrupt the activated signaling pathways. Specifically, we first identify the up-regulated genes of individual cancer patients using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), and then identify the potential activated transcription factors. After dividing ovarian cancer patients into several sub-groups sharing common transcription factors using K-modes method, we uncover the up-stream signaling pathways of activated transcription factors in each sub-group. Finally, we mapped all FDA approved drugs targeting on the upstream signaling. Results: The 427 ovarian cancer samples were divided into 3 sub-groups (with 100, 172, 155 samples respectively) based on the activated TFs (with 14, 25, 26 activated TFs respectively). Multiple up-stream signaling pathways, e.g., MYC, WNT, PDGFRA (RTK), PI3K, AKT TP53, and MTOR, are uncovered to activate the discovered TFs. In addition, 66 FDA approved drugs were identified targeting on the uncovered core signaling pathways. Forty-four drugs had been reported in ovarian cancer related reports. The signaling diversity and heterogeneity can be potential therapeutic targets for drug combination discovery. Conclusions: The proposed integrative network analysis could uncover potential core signaling pathways, targets and drugs for ovarian cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number132
Pages (from-to)132
JournalBMC Medical Genomics
Issue numberSuppl 9
StatePublished - Sep 21 2020


  • Core signaling pathways
  • Drug discovery
  • Network analysis
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrative network analysis identifies potential targets and drugs for ovarian cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this