Narrowing the focus: a toolkit to systematically connect oncogenic signaling pathways with cancer phenotypes.

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Functional genomics approaches such as gain- and loss-of-function screening can efficiently reveal genes that control cancer cell growth, survival, signal transduction, and drug resistance, but distilling the results of large-scale screens into actionable therapeutic strategies is challenging given our incomplete understanding of the functions of many genes. Research over several decades, including the results of large-scale cancer sequencing projects, has made it clear that many oncogenic properties are controlled by a common set of core oncogenic signaling pathways. By directly screening this core set of pathways, rather than much larger numbers of individual genes, it may be possible to more directly and efficiently connect functional genomic screening results with therapeutic targets. Here, we describe the recent development of methods to directly screen oncogenic pathways in high-throughput. We summarize the results of studies that have used pathway-centric screening to map the pathways of resistance to targeted therapies in diverse cancer types, then conclude by expanding on potential future applications of this approach.





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Singleton, Katherine R, and Kris C Wood (2016). Narrowing the focus: a toolkit to systematically connect oncogenic signaling pathways with cancer phenotypes. Genes Cancer, 7(7-8). pp. 218–228. 10.18632/genesandcancer.112 Retrieved from

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Kris Cameron Wood

Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology

Our laboratory uses genomic and pharmacological approaches to understand how tumor dependencies are shaped by cell intrinsic factors, environmental factors, and drug treatments during the dynamic process of tumor evolution. To learn more, please visit our laboratory website:

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