The growing awareness of cardiac dysfunction by cancer treatment has led to the emerging field of cardio- oncology. However, there are no guidelines in terms of how to prevent and treat the new cardiotoxicity in cancer survivors due to the limited experimental assays. Network medicine ? a discipline that seeks to redefine disease and therapeutics from an integrated perspective using systems biology and network science ? offers a non-invasive way to identify actionable biomarkers for cardio-oncology. This five-year career development program will develop state-of-the-art systems pharmacology and network medicine approaches in cardio- oncology that focuses on screening, monitoring, and treating cancer survivors with cardiac dysfunction resulting from cancer treatment for facilitating the career goals to the principal investigator (PI), Dr. Feixiong Cheng. With this application, the PI will adhere to a rigorous mentored training curriculum in Northeastern University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard?s Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). The PI?s mentor, Dr. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, one of the world?s leading experts in the field of network science, has strong collaborative relations with his co-mentors, Drs. Joseph Loscalzo and Sebastian Schneeweiss, in BWH. Dr. Loscalzo, an influential cardiologist, will provide the PI with cardiovascular biology training, career guidance, and scientific advice on the execution of the proposed research plan. Dr. Schneeweiss, a premier pharmacoepidemiologist, will provide the PI with training on applying computationally intensive algorithms for analyzing patient longitudinal big data. This program proposes two specific aims: 1) Development of a state-of- the-art systems pharmacology approach, namely genome-wide positioning systems drug network (GPSDnet) algorithm, to illuminate the landscape of cardiotoxicity to various cancer agents (K99) - The central, unifying hypothesis of GPSDnet is that an integrated, mechanism-based, network approach which incorporates next- generation sequencing data, drug-target networks, drug-induced transcriptome, the human interactome, along with adverse event reports from the FDA?s Adverse Event Reporting System and patient longitudinal data, will prove a novel and effective way for evaluation of cardiotoxicity for current cancer therapies (e.g., multitargeted kinase inhibitors) and new therapies (e.g., immune checkpoint inhibitors); 2) Cardio-oncology perturbation, diagnosis, prevention, and patient care (R00) - The Aim 2 will emphasize the use of network medicine techniques to identify actionable biomarkers (e.g., comorbidity network modules shared by cancer cells and cardiovascular cells/systems) for advancing the characterization of cardio-oncology heterogeneity, thereby achieving the goal of coordinated, patient-centered strategies for treatment and long-term cardiovascular care (e.g., heart failure and coronary artery disease) for cancer survivors. In summary, approval of this K99 award will be invaluable in establishing Dr. Cheng as an independent investigator by exploiting the promise of precision medicine that is in need of experts specializing in network medicine for cardio-oncology.

Public Health Relevance

The growing awareness of cardiotoxicity caused by cancer treatment has led to the emerging field of cardio- oncology, playing an important role in offering ways to prevent and treat new cardiotoxicity in over 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. The proposed research will develop state-of-the-art network medicine strategies for evaluating cardiotoxicity of various cancer agents and advancing the characterization of cardio- oncology. The network medicine infrastructure developed here could be used to tackle the problem of heterogeneity of cardio-oncology and enable searching, sharing, visualizing, querying, and analyzing big biomedical data for treatment and long-term cardiovascular care for cancer survivors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Career Transition Award (K99)
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NHLBI Mentored Transition to Independence Review Committee (MTI)
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Hsu, Lucy L
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Northeastern University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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