Purpose of Review: This article discusses the advances, methods, challenges, and future directions of data-driven methods in advancing precision oncology for biomedical research, drug discovery, clinical research, and practice. Recent Findings: Precision oncology provides individually tailored cancer treatment by considering an individual’s genetic makeup, clinical, environmental, social, and lifestyle information. Challenges include voluminous, heterogeneous, and disparate data generated by different technologies with multiple modalities such as Omics, electronic health records, clinical registries and repositories, medical imaging, demographics, wearables, and sensors. Statistical and machine learning methods have been continuously adapting to the ever-increasing size and complexity of data. Precision Oncology supportive analytics have improved turnaround time in biomarker discovery and time-to-application of new and repurposed drugs. Precision oncology additionally seeks to identify target patient populations based on genomic alterations that are sensitive or resistant to conventional or experimental treatments. Predictive models have been developed for cancer progression and survivorship, drug sensitivity and resistance, and identification of the most suitable combination treatments for individual patient scenarios. In the future, clinical decision support systems need to be revamped to better incorporate knowledge from precision oncology, thus enabling clinical practitioners to provide precision cancer care. Summary: Open Omics datasets, machine learning algorithms, and predictive models have enabled the advancement of precision oncology. Clinical decision support systems with integrated electronic health record and Omics data are needed to provide data-driven recommendations to assist clinicians in disease prevention, early identification, and individualized treatment. Additionally, as cancer is a constantly evolving disorder, clinical decision systems will need to be continually updated based on more recent knowledge and datasets.
Prof. Prema Nedungadi, Iyer, A., Gutjahr, G., Bhaskar, J., and Pillai, A. B., “Data-Driven Methods for Advancing Precision Oncology”, Current Pharmacology Reports, vol. 4, pp. 145-156, 2018.