If you follow advances in immunotherapy the amazing pace of discovery is mind boggling. Depending on the pathway, the ability to target oncogenes and yield clinical improvement is beginning to become a reality. Although maybe not as quickly or enthusiastically as phase II study results would like...
If there is an enzyme to target all the better. The problem with RAS is the target is a protein--so we need to be able to insert activity at a single location requiring intricate folding and precision.
The proteins of the Hedgehog (Hh) family when deregulated may lead to defects and cancer in vertebrates and invertebrates.
They are called hedgehog because if you view the mutant drosophila melanogaster embryos you can envision little "hairs" poking out reminiscent of a hedgehog.
In fact, the pathway in humans feature 3 paralogous genes: Sonic hedgehog, Indian hedgehog, and desert hedgehog.
An adventure is no fun if its too easy!--Sonic the HedgeHog
Oncogenes are an interesting area of study. They are basically genes that have potential role in specific cells but can also initiate cancer pathways when mutated.
Now that we have identified a wide array of oncogenes you may be curious--why is it so hard to directly drug tumor cells? In the same way that tumor cells respond and direct their own environments (stromal infiltration for example) they also respond to their drug environments and develop resistance.
You may also be surprised to learn that only a few of the known oncogenes are indeed "druggable". For example what if the mutation means that the gene is missing? You need to understand the signaling pathway downstream to know how to target.
The sonic hedgehog pathway is important for development of every organ in the body. What happens to developmental pathways if mutations are activated?
You can read a little more about the pathway below:
The 5 second rule: how dirty is your data?
Wikipedia defines the 5 second rule: a defined window where it is permissible to pick up food after it has been dropped and thus exposed to contamination...allowing them to eat a dropped piece of food, despite the potential reservations of their peers.
Hopefully your data doesn't have weird fuzzy things sticking to it or unidentifiable lint or dirt--but what if you aren't certain? How can we make determinations regarding the reliability of our data sources?