Drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines is not tissue-specific

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Background: 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. Findings: 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. Conclusions: 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. (2015). Drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines is not tissue-specific. Molecular Cancer, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12943-015-0312-6

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