Identification and elucidation of the biology of adverse events: The challenges of safety assessment and translational medicine

Ken W Turteltaub, Myrtle A. Davis, Leigh Ann Burns-Naas, Michael P. Lawton, Adam M. Clark, Jack A. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


There has been an explosion of technology-enabled scientific insight into the basic biology of the causes of adverse events. This has been driven, in part, by the development of the various "omics" tools (e.g., genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) and associated bioinformatics platforms. Meanwhile, for decades, changes in preclinical testing protocols and guidelines have been limited. Preclinical safety testing currently relies heavily on the use of outdated animal models. Application of systems biology methods to evaluation of toxicities in oncology treatments can accelerate the introduction of safe, effective drugs. Systems biology adds insights regarding the causes and mechanisms of adverse effects, provides important and actionable information to help understand the risks and benefits to humans, focuses testing on methods that add value to the safety testing process, and leads to modifications of chemical entities to reduce liabilities during development. Leveraging emerging technologies, such as genomics and proteomics, may make preclinical safety testing more efficient and accurate and lead to better safety decisions. The development of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidance document on the use of systems biology in clinical testing would greatly benefit the development of drugs for oncology by communicating the potential application of specific methodologies, providing a framework for qualification and application of systems biology outcomes, and providing insight into the challenges and limitations of systems biology in the regulatory decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6641-6645
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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