The Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer Project - http://www.cancerrxgene.org/ - was part of a Wellcome Trust funded collaboration between The Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Sanger Institute (UK) and the Center for Molecular Therapeutics, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (USA). This collaboration integrated the expertise at both sites toward the goal of identifying cancer biomarkers that can be used to identify genetically defined subsets of patients most likely to respond to cancer therapies.
We screened >1000 genetically characterised human cancer cell lines with a wide range of anti-cancer therapeutics. These compounds included cytotoxic chemotherapeutics as well as targeted therapeutics from commercial sources, academic collaborators, and from the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
The sensitivity patterns of the cell lines were correlated with extensive genomic and expression data to identify genetic features that are predictive of sensitivity. This large collection of cell lines enabled us to capture much of the genomic heterogeneity that underlies human cancer, and which appears to play a critical role in determining the variable response of patients to treatment with specific agents.
Our drug sensitivity data and genetic correlations are freely available through our website as a resource to the academic and medical communities.