Computational method predicts new uses for existing medicines

From PhysOrg:

Computationa The researchers found that an anti-ulcer medicine might treat lung cancer and an anticonvulsant might alleviate inflammatory bowel diseases.

The scientists drew their data from the NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information Gene Expression Omnibus, a publicly available database that contains the results of thousands of on a wide range of topics, submitted by researchers across the globe. The resource catalogs changes in under various conditions, such as in diseased tissues or in response to medications. Butte's group focused on 100 diseases and 164 drugs. They created a to search through the thousands of possible drug-disease combinations to find drugs and diseases whose essentially cancelled each other out. For example, if a disease increased the activity of certain genes, the program tried to match it with one or more drugs that decreased the activity of those . Many of the drug-disease matches were known, and are already in clinical use, supporting the validity of the approach. For example, the analysis correctly predicted that prednisolone could treat Crohn's disease, a condition for which it is a standard therapy.

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