Book of Abstracts: Albany 2011

category image Albany 2011
Conversation 17
June 14-18 2011
©Adenine Press (2010)

Cancer Meets the “Omics”: A Comprehensive Cancer Biotherapy Database with Links to Multiple Bioinformatics Websites/WebServers - Facilitating the Search for Anticancer Biological Agents

‘Cancer biotherapy’ – as opposed to ‘cancer chemotherapy’ - is the use of macromolecular biological agents instead of small organic chemicals or ‘drugs’ to treat cancer (1, 2). Although there are several important differences between cancer biotherapy and cancer chemotherapy, it suffices to say that due to the much higher selectivity of biological agents than chemical agents for cancer cells over normal cells, there is much less toxic side effects in biotherapy as compared to chemotherapy, and as a result, patient survival is usually dramatically enhanced. We have built the foundations of a comprehensive cancer biotherapy database for use as a life-saving resource by cancer patients, and as a sounding board for scientific ideas by cancer researchers. The database/webserver will have information about 12 main families of cancer biotherapy regimens to date, namely, 1.) Protein Kinase Inhibitors, 2.) Ras Pathway Inhibitors, 3.) Cell-Cycle Active Agents, 4.) MAbs (monoclonal antibodies), 5.) ADEPT (Antibody-Directed Enzyme Pro-Drug Therapy), 6.) Cytokines (interferons, interleukins, TNF, etc.), 7.) Anti-Angiogeneis Agents, 8.) Cancer Vaccines (peptides, proteins, DNA), 9.) Cell-based Immunotherapeutics, 10.) Gene Therapy, 11.) Hematopoietic Growth Factors, and 12.) Retinoids. For each biotherapy regimen, we will extract the following attributes in populating the database: (a.) cancer type, (b.) gene/s and gene product/s involved, (c.) gene sequence (GenBank ID), (d.) organ/s affected, (e.) available chemo treatment, (f.) reference papers, (g.) clinical phase/stage, (h.) survival rate (chemo. vs. biother.), (i.) clinical test center locations, (j.) cost, (k.) patient blog, (l.) researcher blog, etc. The most salient feature of our database/webserver, besides its focus on biological agents, is its multiple links to most, if not all, publicly available databases and webservers, including structural proteomics, metabolomics, glycomics, and lipidomics webservers. It is hoped that these links can provide the researcher with up-to-date knowledge about the structure and function of the specific biomolecules involved with the type of cancer they are studying. Knowledge of these “cancer signatures” or biomarkers is expected to facilitate the work of cancer researchers. As a public resource, on the other hand, the database will include a description attribute that will explain in simple, layman’s language the 12 biotherapy regimens well as other technical items included to ensure public accessibility. The database attributes will be regularly updated for novel attributes as discoveries are made.


  1. A. Young, L. Rowett and D. Kerr (Eds.), Cancer Biotherapy: An Introductory Guide, Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, U.K. (2006).
  2. P. T. Rieger, Biotherapy: A Comprehensive Overview, 2nd ed., Jones & Barlett Publ., Sudbury, MA (2001).

Preety Priya
Vicente M. Reyes

Biological Sciences Dept.
Sch. of Medical & Biological Sciences
College of Science, Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY 14623-5603 USA

Ph: (585) 475-4115