Novartis is undertaking a large-scale effort to comprehensively describe cancer through the lens of cell cultures and tissue samples. In collaboration with academic and industrial partners, we have generated mutation status, gene copy number, and gene expression data for a library of 1,000 cancer cell lines, representing most cancer lineages and common genetic backgrounds. Most of these cell lines have been tested for chemosensitivity against ~1,200 cancer-relevant compounds, and we are systematically exploring drug combinations for synergy against ~100 prioritized CCLE lines. We expect this large-scale campaign to enable efficient patient selection for clinical trials on existing cancer drugs, reveal many therapeutically promising drug synergies or anti-resistance combinations, and provide unprecedented detail on functional interactions between cancer signaling pathways. I will discuss early highlights of this work and describe our plans to make use of this resource both for therapeutic goals and towards understanding the complexity of cancer signaling.
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