In silico prescription of anticancer drugs to cohorts of 28 tumor types reveals targeting opportunities

Cancer Cell. 2015 Mar 9;27(3):382-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2015.02.007.


Large efforts dedicated to detect somatic alterations across tumor genomes/exomes are expected to produce significant improvements in precision cancer medicine. However, high inter-tumor heterogeneity is a major obstacle to developing and applying therapeutic targeted agents to treat most cancer patients. Here, we offer a comprehensive assessment of the scope of targeted therapeutic agents in a large pan-cancer cohort. We developed an in silico prescription strategy based on identification of the driver alterations in each tumor and their druggability options. Although relatively few tumors are tractable by approved agents following clinical guidelines (5.9%), up to 40.2% could benefit from different repurposing options, and up to 73.3% considering treatments currently under clinical investigation. We also identified 80 therapeutically targetable cancer genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cohort Studies
  • Computational Biology
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Decision Making, Computer-Assisted*
  • Drug Repositioning
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Precision Medicine / methods*


  • Antineoplastic Agents