Network intervention, a method to address complex therapeutic strategies

Chi Zhang, Wei Zhou, Dao Gang Guan, Yong Hua Wang, Ai Ping Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)



Network-based approaches emerged as powerful tools for studying complex diseases. Our intention in this article was to raise awareness of the benefits of new therapeutic strategy in biological networks context and provide an introduction to this topic. 


This article will discuss the rational for network intervention, and outline some of the important aspects of deciphering targets activities in the network and future embodiments of network intervention. We also present examples of network intervention based on the strategies these approaches use. 


Network intervention seeks for target combinations to perturb a specific subset of nodes in disease networks to inhibit the bypass mechanisms at systems level. Experimental results derived from our studies are discussed, with conclusions that lead to future research directions. A simple diagram is designed to give a way to find the minimum number of external input required for a network intervention based on the graph theory and get the analytical value of the least input. 


Creating network intervention that addresses blindness and unthinking action in this way could, therefore, provide more benefit than multi-target therapy. We hope that this article will give readers an appreciation for a new therapeutic strategy that has been proposed for improving clinical benefit by adopting network-based approaches as well as insight into their properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number754
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Algorithm
  • Complex disease
  • Network intervention
  • Network pharmacology
  • Therapeutic strategy


Dive into the research topics of 'Network intervention, a method to address complex therapeutic strategies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this