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Environment

Effort will create better cell models for research

by Jessica Morrison
July 18, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 29

A group of international research organizations are partnering to create 1,000 new cancer cell models, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced last week. The work will focus on techniques to grow cells so they better resemble the complex tissue of human tumors than do cell lines now used in research. Scientists from NCI, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and Hubrecht Organoid Technology will form the Human Cancer Models Initiative and share its costs. This effort will provide new models of different types of cancer that are expected to “reflect the biology of tumors more accurately and better represent the overall cancer patient population,” NCI says. Distribution of the models, along with genetic sequencing data from tumors and clinical data, could begin in the next two to three years, NCI adds. “This effort is a first step toward learning how to use these tools to design individualized treatments,” says Louis M. Staudt, director of NCI’s Center for Cancer Genomics.

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