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Last Updated: 05/07/15

NCI60 Cell Line Laboratory at the Frederick National Laboratories for Cancer Research

The classic NCI60 cell line screening panel has nine cancers, including leukemia, melanoma, non-small cell lung, colon, brain, ovary, breast, prostate, and kidney. This effort has served the global cancer research community for >20 years. The NCI60 lab is headed by Dr. William Kopp. The aim of the screen is to identify agents (small molecules, proteins or other) showing growth inhibition or killing of tumor cell lines. The NCI60 screen is unique in that the large database of compounds tested allows the 60-cell line concentration response curve pattern produced by a given compound to be compared with response patterns of other compounds to identify similarities and potentially identify mechanisms (COMPARE). The NCI60 cell line screen may be the most widely recognized resource for testing new compounds available to the global cancer research community. The vision for the role of the NCI60 cell line panel has grown and broadened along with the technologies available to explore the cancer cell. There have been more than 200 peer-reviewed papers published on the NCI60 cell line panel over the past 5 years. While the majority of the reports are medicinal chemistry, drug response and compound studies (45%); many center on gene expression, genomics, and development of gene signatures (24%). Other prominent topics include mutation analyses (7%), proteomics (6%), development of bioinformatics methods (4%), biomarkers (4%), microRNAs (3%), metabolomics, epigenetics and pathways analyses (1% each).1-6 Cancer research community investigators both contribute and receive data from this resource. The NCI60 screen will continue to provide the cell lines, and RNA or DNA from the 60 cell lines to the cancer research community with a high standard of quality, and continue to develop the characterization of the lines through contributions from interested investigators.

For more information regarding NCI-60 human cancer cell line screen, please visit the NCI-60 main page.


  1. Su G, Burant CF, Beecher CW, Athey BD, Meng F. Integrated metabolome and transriptome analysis of the NCI60 dataset. BMC Bioinformatics 2011; 12 (suppl 1): S36.
  2. Sokilde R, Kaczkowski B, Podolska A, Cirera S, Gorodkin J, Moller S, Litman T. Global microRNA analysis of the NCI-60 cancer cell panel. Molec Cancer Therap 2011; 10: 375-84.
  3. Park ES, Rabinovsky R, Carey M, Hennessy BT, Agarwal R, Liu W, Ju Z, Deng W, Lu Y, Woo HG, Kim SB, Lee JS, Garraway LA, Weinstein JN, Mills GB, Lee JS, Davies MA. Integrative analysis of proteomic signatures, mutations, and drug responsiveness in the NCI 60 cancer cell lines set. Molec Cancer Therap 2010; 9: 257-67.
  4. Covell DG, Huang R, Wallqvist A. Anticancer medicines in development: assessment of bioactivity profiles within the National Cancer Institute anticancer screening data. Molec Cancer Therap 2007; 6: 2261-70.
  5. Shoemaker RH. The NCI60 human tumor cell line anticancer drug screen. Nature Rev Cancer 2006; 6: 813-23.
  6. Phillips LR, Hill KD, Majerova E. Liquid chromatographic determination of NSC 737664 (ABT-888: an inhibitor of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)) in plasma and urine in a phase 0 clinical trial. J Liq Chromatogr Relat Technol 2009; 32: 261-72.

About the Branch Chief

Dr. Mary K. Wolpert, Ph.D. Dr. Beverly A. Teicher PhD is Chief of the Molecular Pharmaco-logy Branch at NCI, a position that she assumed in early 2011. One focus of the Molecular Pharmacology Branch is target and drug discovery for rare and recalcitrant cancers such as sarcoma and small cell lung cancer. Dr. Teicher completed a PhD in Bioorganic Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University and postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine. More…