Functional precision cancer medicine: drug sensitivity screening enabled by cell culture models

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2022 Nov;43(11):973-985. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2022 Sep 23.


Functional precision medicine is a new, emerging area that can guide cancer treatment by capturing information from direct perturbations of tumor-derived, living cells, such as by drug sensitivity screening. Precision cancer medicine as currently implemented in clinical practice has been driven by genomics, and current molecular tumor boards rely extensively on genomic characterization to advise on therapeutic interventions. However, genomic biomarkers can only guide treatment decisions for a fraction of the patients. In this review we provide an overview of the current state of functional precision medicine, highlight advances for drug-sensitivity screening enabled by cell culture models, and discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) can be coupled to functional precision medicine to guide patient stratification.

Keywords: cancer diagnostics; drug sensitivity testing; functional precision medicine; molecular tumor board; patient stratification.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Precision Medicine*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor