The identification and validation of novel drug–target combinations are key steps in the drug discovery processes. Cancer is a complex disease that involves several genetic and environmental factors. High-throughput omics technologies are now widely available, however the integration of multi-omics data to identify viable anticancer drug-target combinations, that allow for a better clinical outcome when considering the efficacy-toxicity spectrum, is challenging. This review article provides an overview of systems approaches which help to integrate a broad spectrum of technologies and data. We focus on network approaches and investigate anticancer mechanism and biological targets of resveratrol using reverse pharmacophore mapping as an in-depth case study. The results of this case study demonstrate the use of systems approaches for a better understanding of the behavior of small molecule inhibitors in receptor binding sites. The presented network analysis approach helps in formulating hypotheses and provides mechanistic insights of resveratrol in neoplastic transformations.
Keywords: Network, systems biology, therapeutic targets, drug design, reverse docking, transformations.