The NCI60 human tumour cell line anticancer drug screen

Nat Rev Cancer. 2006 Oct;6(10):813-23. doi: 10.1038/nrc1951.


The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) 60 human tumour cell line anticancer drug screen (NCI60) was developed in the late 1980s as an in vitro drug-discovery tool intended to supplant the use of transplantable animal tumours in anticancer drug screening. This screening model was rapidly recognized as a rich source of information about the mechanisms of growth inhibition and tumour-cell kill. Recently, its role has changed to that of a service screen supporting the cancer research community. Here I review the development, use and productivity of the screen, highlighting several outcomes that have contributed to advances in cancer chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / history
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.) / history
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.) / organization & administration
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • United States


  • Antineoplastic Agents