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Drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines is not tissue-specific

15 Mar 2015

Cancer cell lines have a prominent role in the initial stages of drug discovery, facilitating high-throughput screening of potential drugs. However, their clinical relevance remains controversial.
We assess whether drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines is able to discriminate tissue specificity. We find that cancer-specific drugs do not show higher efficacies in cell lines representing the respective tissues. Even when considering distinct cancer subtypes and targeted therapies, most drugs are evenly effective/ineffective throughout all cell lines.
To get the most out of cell line panels, it will be necessary to look into their molecular characteristics, and integrate them into systems biology frameworks.

Jaeger S, Duran-Frigola M, Aloy P. Drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines is not tissue-specific. Mol Cancer. 2015 Feb 15;14(1):40.