World Bulletin / News Desk
Open access worldwide to the new database, based on genome studies, is expected to help researchers accelerate development of new drugs and better match patients with therapies, NCI said in a statement on Monday.
"Most anti-cancer drugs that are used today are used based on their empirical activity," Dr. Yves Pommier, chief of the NCI's Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, said in an interview. "For most of them, we know there is a target, but they have not been connected with any genomics."
Most cancer treatments involve a lot of guess work because doctors have no way to determine how a particular patient is likely to respond to many commonly used drugs or chemotherapy, or which cancers will develop resistance.
To create the database, the NCI team sequenced 60 human cancer cell lines, generating an extensive list of cancer-specific variations for different parts of the body.
"Only about half of women with ovarian cancer respond to it," he said, noting that pharmaceutical companies would have little incentive to determine if an existing cancer drug should only be used in a subset of patients.
Many recently approved cancer drugs are targeted treatments, designed to block specific pathways that cancer cells use to grow and reproduce. Before the drugs are administered, patients are tested for the specific genetic mutations that would make the drug more likely to be beneficial to them.
Melanoma drug Zelboraf, sold by Roche Holding AG, is designed to work by targeting a specific genetic mutation found in about half of all melanomas. Pfizer Inc's cancer drug Xalkori, which targets a mutation in the ALK gene, works in about 4 percent of lung cancer patients.
Public shuttle was displayed during international conference in Turkey
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Speaking to the news site Vox, Zuckerberg defended the company's business model and shot back at criticism of the social networking giant from Apple CEO Tim Cook last week.
A Tesla Model X collided with a highway barrier near the town of Mountain View in California on March 23, catching fire before it was struck by two other cars.
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The so-called Langlands programme dates back to 1967, when the then-associate professor at Princeton University wrote a letter to renowned French mathematician Andre Weil outlining his new theory.
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