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Cancer cell line encyclopedias

Two research teams have independently developed large-scale screening platforms to profile hundreds of human cancer cell lines and identify drug sensitivity biomarkers.1,2 Novartis AG, a member of one of the groups, is now using the platform to guide patient selection in Phase I cancer trials.

Both platforms are patterned after the NCI60, which was the first cancer cell line panel developed to screen for cancer therapeutics. NCI60 consists of 60 human cell lines representing 9 tumor types. It was developed in the 1980s and first used in 1990.3

In the intervening 20 years it has become clear that the original NCI60 panel cannot capture the full diversity of cancer cell lineages and cancer genetics.4,5 The panel "is just too small to model the incredible heterogeneity that, through genome sequencing, we now know exists across cancer mutations," Paul Workman told SciBX. "To cover mutations present in, say,

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