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.
Spanish news publishers want government to negotiate with Google.
The Russian space station Mir, launched by the Soviet Union in 1986, operated until 2001 and President Vladimir Putin is now seeking to reform Russia's once-pioneering space industry
Google's action caps a decade of acrimony with news publishers who blame the search giant for revenue and readership declines
Top climate envoy gives broad support for global deal but says country's "special circumstances" must be factored.
Finnish cyber-security expert tells Istanbul audience that people have made gigantic IT companies billions in profits by providing private data for services.
The scientific observation of Pluto, its entourage of moons and other bodies in the solar system's frozen backyard begins Jan. 15
For the first time in more than 40 years, NASA has launched a spaceship designed to carry astronauts far beyond Earth
Benefits of digital revolution outweigh risks, Germany’s Chancellor says
Last month, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vowed to make climate change a top priority when Turkey hosts next year’s G20 summit
The emails of Apple’s late CEO is being used as evidence in antitrust claim.
The report said the malware overrides data on hard drives of computers and can make them inoperable and shut down networks.
Among those hit were the London newspapers Daily Telegraph, Independent and Evening Standard, which reported that other news organisations had also been targeted.
The European Union's privacy watchdogs agreed on a set of guidelines to help them implement a ruling from Europe's supreme court that gives people the right to ask search engines to remove personal information
Iraq bars private companies from owning fixed networks transiting domestic data and anything they build is usually seized by the government.
The new crew faces a busy six months in orbit, including a trio of spacewalks to prepare the station for a new fleet of U.S. commercial space taxis