PharmacoDB: an integrative database for mining in vitro anticancer drug screening studies

Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Jan 4;46(D1):D994-D1002. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx911.


Recent cancer pharmacogenomic studies profiled large panels of cell lines against hundreds of approved drugs and experimental chemical compounds. The overarching goal of these screens is to measure sensitivity of cell lines to chemical perturbations, correlate these measures to genomic features, and thereby develop novel predictors of drug response. However, leveraging these valuable data is challenging due to the lack of standards for annotating cell lines and chemical compounds, and quantifying drug response. Moreover, it has been recently shown that the complexity and complementarity of the experimental protocols used in the field result in high levels of technical and biological variation in the in vitro pharmacological profiles. There is therefore a need for new tools to facilitate rigorous comparison and integrative analysis of large-scale drug screening datasets. To address this issue, we have developed PharmacoDB (, a database integrating the largest cancer pharmacogenomic studies published to date. Here, we describe how the curation of cell line and chemical compound identifiers maximizes the overlap between datasets and how users can leverage such data to compare and extract robust drug phenotypes. PharmacoDB provides a unique resource to mine a compendium of curated cancer pharmacogenomic datasets that are otherwise disparate and difficult to integrate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Data Mining
  • Databases, Pharmaceutical*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor*
  • Humans
  • Pharmacogenomic Testing*
  • User-Computer Interface


  • Antineoplastic Agents

Grant support