Next generation networks: Featuring the potential role of emerging applications in translational oncology

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4 Scopus citations


Nowadays, networks are pervasively used as examples of models suitable to mathematically represent and visualize the complexity of systems associated with many diseases, including cancer. In the cancer context, the concept of network entropy has guided many studies focused on comparing equilibrium to disequilibrium (i.e., perturbed) conditions. Since these conditions reflect both structural and dynamic properties of network interaction maps, the derived topological characterizations offer precious support to conduct cancer inference. Recent innovative directions have emerged in network medicine addressing especially experimental omics approaches integrated with a variety of other data, from molecular to clinical and also electronic records, bioimaging etc. This work considers a few theoretically relevant concepts likely to impact the future of applications in personalized/precision/translational oncology. The focus goes to specific properties of networks that are still not commonly utilized or studied in the oncological domain, and they are: controllability, synchronization and symmetry. The examples here provided take inspiration from the consideration of metastatic processes, especially their progression through stages and their hallmark characteristics. Casting these processes into computational frameworks and identifying network states with specific modular configurations may be extremely useful to interpret or even understand dysregulation patterns underlying cancer, and associated events (onset, progression) and disease phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number664
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Cancer metastasis
  • Controllability
  • Entropy
  • Modularity
  • Networks
  • Symmetry
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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