Drug Sensitivity and Resistance Testing
We use the Drug Sensitivity and Resistance Testing (DSRT) to test a large number of cancer drugs on cells derived directly from cancer patients to identify the most effective treatment for each of them.
DSRT is based on extensive academic research carried out at FIMM and elsewhere (see e.g. Pemovska T. et al. 2013; Pemovska T. et al. 2015). The standard DSRT assay consists of 528 drugs in 5 concentrations, on 8 384-well plates. The standard readout in an DSRT assay is cell viability, but microscopic and flow cytometry readouts are also available.
Drug sensitivity and resistance testing is used to help the physicians who treat cancer patients to find the best possible drug for each individual patient. We know that almost every cancer is different and standard treatments help optimally only a fraction of the patients. That’s why treatments need to be personalized. When the doctor can see from our results which drugs have killed cancer cells efficiently but left normal cells unaffected, he or she can start treating the patient with the efficient drug. This can help the patient to get the right treatment and save him or her from inefficient treatments that have sometimes heavy side effects.
In addition to helping the patients, this testing also benefits academic research. We don’t just do drug sensitivity and resistance testing, but also next-generation sequencing on all samples. When we combine the drug sensitivity data with this genomic data, we can get valuable information of how the drugs actually work in the cells and increase our understanding of the disease in many ways.
Drug sensitivity and resistance testing is a key element in many of our company collaboration projects, in which pharmaceutical companies test their drug candidates in our system and see how they compare to other drugs in our extensive oncology collection.