Update on NCI in vitro drug screen utilities

Eur J Cancer. 2004 Apr;40(6):785-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2003.11.022.


Development of new anti-cancer drugs is a costly and risky proposition. The Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP) of the National Cancer Institutes of the United States (U.S.) facilitates the drug development process by providing access to preclinical screening services. Since the early 1990's, DTP has screened tens of thousands of compounds against a panel of 60 human tumour cell lines representing nine tissue sites. At the same time, DTP began to accumulate information on the expression of molecular entities in the same 60 cell line panel. Many of these data are freely available to the public at. More recently, additional, more focused screens have entered the picture, with data also available through the web site. These include screening of roughly 100000 compounds against a panel of yeast mutants, and screening of the NCI Diversity Set in assays designed to detect effects on Molecular Targets of interest.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor / trends*
  • Drugs, Investigational
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • United States


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drugs, Investigational