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Novartis and the Broad Institute have developed a cancer cell line encyclopedia that catalogues the genetic and molecular profiles of almost 1000 human cancer cell lines used in drug research and development.
Results of the collaboration, published in the journal Nature and released in advance online today, may allow scientists around the world to improve cancer clinical trial design and further cancer research.
“Cancer is a genetic disease. Cell lines reflect the genetic disturbances that drive cancers. Probing cell lines with medicines targeted at specific pathways, as done for the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, provides a powerful tool for design of cancer treatment,” said Mark Fishman, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR).
“We are placing this information in the public domain. We hope that many in industry and academia will use these data to discover new drug targets, to evaluate current therapies, and to facilitate treatment for their patients with cancer.”
The genetic and molecular profiling data from the cell lines is freely available to the scientific community here on the Broad Institute’s website.
Investigators use cell lines to shed light on how new or existing cancer drugs might best be used in patients. “Without access to a systematically collected set of molecular data, researchers can’t match experiments from cell lines with patient tumours when new medicines become available,” said William Sellers, Global Head of Oncology, NIBR.
“The Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia will provide scientists with the ability to build predictive models of what types of patients will respond to a particular class of drugs.”