Personalizing Chinese medicine by integrating molecular features of diseases and herb ingredient information: application to acute myeloid leukemia

Lin Huang, Haichang Li, Duoli Xie, Tieliu Shi _ and Chengping Wen

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:43579-43591. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16983

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Lin Huang1,*, Haichang Li1,*, Duoli Xie1, Tieliu Shi2 and Chengping Wen1

1 TCM Clinical Basis Institute, Zhejiang University of Chinese Medicine, Hangzhou, China

2 The Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Regulatory Biology, The Institute of Biomedical Sciences and School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Tieliu Shi, email:

Chengping Wen, email:

Keywords: traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acute myeloid leukemia(AML), medicine classification, synthetic lethality (SL), drug repurposing

Received: January 05, 2017 Accepted: March 06, 2017 Published: April 09, 2017


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been widely used as a complementary medicine in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) treatment. In this study, we proposed a new classification of Chinese Medicines (CMs) by integrating the latest discoveries in disease molecular mechanisms and traditional medicine theory. We screened out a set of chemical compounds on basis of AML differential expression genes and chemical-protein interactions and then mapped them to Traditional Chinese Medicine Integrated Database. 415 CMs contain those compounds and they were categorized into 8 groups according to the Traditional Chinese Pharmacology. Pathway analysis and synthetic lethality gene pairs were applied to analyze the dissimilarity, generality and intergroup relations of different groups. We defined hub CM pairs and alternative CM groups based on the analysis result and finally proposed a formula to form an effective anti-AML prescription which combined the hub CM pairs with alternative CMs according to patients’ molecular features. Our method of formulating CMs based on patients’ stratification provides novel insights into the new usage of conventional CMs and will promote TCM modernization.

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