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Melanoma Molecular Map Project Launches Research-Use Computational Tool for Personalized Treatment


The Melanoma Molecular Map Project has launched an open-access computational tool, called the Targeted Therapy Analyzer, which allows researchers to match the molecular profile of a patient's tumor to a targeted melanoma drug.

The TTA, available here, allows users to implement "algorithms necessary to summarize the literature data and to match" the right drugs to patients based on the molecular features of their tumors.

The MMMP researchers developed algorithms to help researchers find the best therapeutic hypotheses based on the available evidence. After a user inputs information about the molecular features of a patient's tumor, the TTA provides a ranked list of possible therapeutic options.

Last year, an international team of researchers led by Simone Mocellin of Italy's University of Padova published in PLoS One the methods by which they created the manually annotated database underlying theTTA, called the Targeted Therapy Database.

In the paper, Mocellin et al. note that "in the light of its theoretical nature, the prediction performance of this model must be validated before it can be implemented in the clinical setting."

Accordingly, the MMMP informs users that the TTA "is designed exclusively for research purposes and should never under any circumstances be used for the clinical decision making process."

Additionally, the MMMP notes that the knowledge base underlying the tool is still incomplete and that "the results provided by the TTA are to be considered with caution and are likely to change as the TTD content increases."

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.