Interactive webtool for analyzing drug sensitivity and resistance associated with genetic signatures of cancer cell lines

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2023 Aug;149(9):5539-5545. doi: 10.1007/s00432-022-04503-2. Epub 2022 Dec 6.


Purpose: A wide therapeutic repertoire has become available to oncologists including radio- and chemotherapy, small molecules and monoclonal antibodies. However, drug efficacy can be limited by genetic heterogeneity. Here, we designed a webtool that facilitates the data analysis of the in vitro drug sensitivity data on 265 approved compounds from the GDSC database in association with a plethora of genetic changes documented for 1001 cell lines in the CCLE data.

Methods: The webtool computes odds ratios of drug resistance for a queried set of genetic alterations. It provides results on the efficacy of single compounds or groups of compounds assigned to cellular signaling pathways. Webtool availability: .

Results: We first replicated established associations of genetic driver mutations in BRAF, RAS genes and EGFR with drug response. We then tested the 'BRCAness' hypothesis and did not find increased sensitivity to the assayed PARP inhibitors. Analyzing specific PIK3CA mutations related to cancer and mendelian overgrowth, we found support for the described sensitivity of H1047 mutants to GSK690693 targeting the AKT pathway. Testing a co-mutated gene pair, GATA3 activation abolished PTEN-related sensitivity to PI3K/mTOR inhibition. Finally, the pharmacogenomic modifier ABCB1 was associated with olaparib resistance.

Conclusions: This tool could identify potential drug candidates in the presence of custom sets of genetic changes and moreover, improve the understanding of signaling pathways. The underlying computer code can be adapted to larger drug response datasets to help structure and accommodate the increasingly large biomedical knowledge base.

Keywords: Association test; Candidate compound; Data repository; Discovery approach.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Resistance
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases* / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases