Drug Sensitivity and Resistance Testing

Our Drug Sensitivity and Resistance Testing (DSRT) platform allows doctors and researchers to test pharmacological dependencies of cancer cells.


DSRT for doctors and cancer patients

Each cancer case is unique and cancer patients often fail to respond to standard therapeutic options. In such cases our clinical DSRT (cDSRT) assay can help doctors to identify the most effective therapy for each particular patient or save him/her from the hurdles of inefficient therapies.

In a standard cDSRT assay, cancer cells taken directly from a patient are purified and placed in multi-well plates, where each well contains one of 528 clinically approved or experimental cancer drugs at one of five different concentrations. Cell viability is measured after 72 hours, on which bases the most potent drugs are identified. The method has been extensively validated and described in peer-reviewed journals (e.g. Pemovska T. et al. 2013Pemovska T. et al. 2015).

cDSRT is not yet part of the standard therapeutic approach in cancer treatment. Patients should contact their doctor(s) for initiation of cDSRT testing and interpretation of the results. Doctors should initiate cDSRT projectsvia relevant research groups at FIMM / University of Helsinki rather than HTB directly: e.g. Caroline Heckman's group for hematological cancers, Emmy Verschuren's group for lung cancers.



DSRT for pharma companies

Pharma companies can use the DSRT assay to test their drugs candidates on the same patient's cancer cells that we use for cDSRT described above, which may be considered as a surrogate approach for clinical trials. In this setting, pharmaceutical companies do not only test the effects of their drug candidates on real patient samples, but also get a chance to compare their drugs with other drugs from our oncology collection.

Interested companies should contact a respective research group to set up such a study rather than HTB directly: e.g. Caroline Heckman for hematological cancers, Emmy Verschuren for lung cancers.



DSRT for academic researchers

Academic researchers can benefit from DSRT in many different ways.

  • DSRT can be used as another chemical tool to study your cells of interest. Use our chemical compound panels to identify relevant molecular signaling pathways or response spectra related to a defined genetic modification or other properties of your cells.
  • Identify genetic markers of drug responses in primary tumors by comparing DSRT results with genome sequencing data routinely obtained for each primary tumor sample processed at FIMM. Contact us for information on relevant permissions required for data access.
  • Explore the DSRT database for drug response modeling and simulation studies. Contact us for information on relevant permissions required for data access.


Last updated: 13.02.2019 - 14:32