publication date: Mar. 4, 2016

NCI Developing Mouse Models

To Succeed NCI-60 Cell Lines

The NCI-60, a panel of 60 cancer cell lines that have become the Rosetta Stone for the development of anticancer drugs, may be entering its twilight years as NCI develops new, and more expansive, patient-derived xenografts, or PDX models.

For over 25 years, the NCI-60, a set of about a dozen tissue types—leukemia, non-small cell lung, small cell lung, colon, CNS, melanoma, ovarian, renal, and breast—have been used to perform initial screens on over 100,000 compounds.

In the 1980s, the panel became the first tool to provide the answers to a fundamental problem in oncology: since growing implanted tumors in mice was too slow a process, how can experimental drugs be tested without subjecting patients to toxicity and risk?

When the NCI-60 was established, it became the standard procedure for researchers who wanted to test anticancer agents in highly controlled laboratory experiments. The panel removed patient-to-patient variability, and it was comprehensive: researchers could blast it with an array of drugs and identify which cell lines were responding.

Today, many experts say that cancer research has advanced beyond the capabilities of the screen—burgeoning data on cancer subtypes and targeted therapies mean that the old menu of NCI-60 cannot address the rapidly expanding range of research questions.

“Over the past five to 10 years, many … Continue reading 42-09 NCI Developing Mouse Models To Succeed NCI-60 Cell Lines

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