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The genetic basis of a patient’s cancer is often unclear. A patient’s cancer may be driven by just one out of many possible genetic causes, or it may be the culmination of multiple genetic causes. All of these possibilities exist in a kind of cloud, which is complemented by another sort of cloud, which consists of the various cancer-suppression activities that one drug, or a combination of drugs, may have. Some drugs are “promiscuous.” For example, some cancer drugs inhibit multiple cancer-related kinases.

A patient’s cancer-driver cloud might overlap with a particular drug’s cancer-suppression cloud, but who could say? We’re dealing with clouds, after all, not the crisply bound regions we see in Venn diagrams.

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