CRISPR-based genetic interaction maps inform therapeutic strategies in cancer

Poornima Ramkumar, Martin Kampmann


The future of cancer precision medicine lies in the rational design of effective therapies tailored to each patient based on the genetic makeup of their tumor. While the investigation of cancer genomes has successfully revealed cancer driver genes, leading to the development of targeted therapies, drug resistance is a major challenge in the clinic. The focus of this editorial is to highlight the potential of CRISPR-based genetic interaction (GI) maps in cancer cells to elucidate therapeutic targets, biomarkers, resistance mechanisms and combination therapy targets. We introduce the concept of GIs and their relevance to cancer therapy. We discuss systematic large-scale GI maps in mammalian cells using CRISPR-based technologies such as the CRISPR-cutting, CRISPR-interference (CRISPRi) and CRISPR-activation (CRISPRa) approaches.

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