Large-panel cancer cell line screening can help find the right fit between a specific cancer cell and a therapeutic molecule, leading to the development of effective treatments. How can robust quality control, real-time screening methods, and a set of unique screening panels address current screening challenges?\u00a0\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHuman cell lines have been used in drug development for decades. Today, large-panel cancer cell line screening can help identify cancer cell lines that respond to therapeutic compounds. Such screening methods use large quantities of genetically diverse cell lines from various cancer types to test novel drug candidates.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBecause of variability between human cancer cell lines, obtaining uniform screening results can pose a challenge. Coordinating screening within designated time frames can be difficult as well.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cOther challenges in preclinical compound screening include cost, genomic instability of cell lines, and demonstrating strong correlation between in vitro and in vivo preclinical screening data with clinical trials,\u201d explained ZhengZheng Bao, Director at Crown Bioscience.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNevertheless, there are ways in which current screening technologies are addressing these issues.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nStaying consistent and meeting deadlines\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTo ensure screening results between cancer cell types are consistent, robust quality control measures are necessary at every step of the process. Quality control tests take a look at aspects of cancer cell screening like cell line quality, differences between culture media, and variations in incubation times and treatment responses.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cIf conditions of cell lines vary, the results can be inconclusive,\u201d said Bao. \u201cThe incubation time can lead to differing results as well.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nQuality control measures confirm that screening properties meet the designated criteria, which can help remove outlying results and meet deadlines when screening high numbers of cancer cell lines.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOmniScreenTM, a real-time large-panel cancer cell screening service by Crown Bioscience, draws upon a database of over 500 cancer cell lines, and provides clients with weekly updates on a drug candidate\u2019s effectiveness.\u00a0\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cIn the OmniScreen process, we first divide cells based on cancer type. After one to two weeks, we determine whether the cells are reaching the desired cell count and viability,\u201d said Bao.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOmniScreen can test cell lines from over 18 different cancer types, including lung, blood, breast, and liver cancers, found in a high quality cell bank within an easily searchable online database. To pass Omni\u2019s quality control, cells need to fulfill 80%\u201390% of Crown Bioscience\u2019s testing criteria. After passing the testing criteria, the drug candidate compound can be added to the cancer cells.\u00a0\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nReducing costs and increasing screening efficiency\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nScanning large numbers of cancer cell lines can be costly. To cut costs, OmniScreen runs its screens on a fixed three month schedule, screening multiple drug candidate compounds simultaneously.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAnd because the overall aim of cancer cell screening is to provide patients with targeted and more effective treatments, screening results from in vitro cell lines must maintain clear relevance to in vivo models and real-life clinical settings.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOmniScreen addresses this by drawing upon historical data from over 100 studies, allowing informed predictions on cell line growth parameters and responses to specific drug candidates based on how specific cell lines previously responded to drug candidates.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWell-characterized cancer cell lines at the molecular level are essential for developing effective anti-cancer drugs,\u201d Bao added. \u201cOmniScreen provides just that -- well-defined cell lines with full genetic information.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nReal-time results\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nProviding clients with a real-time readout of OmniScreen\u2019s results is one of the technology\u2019s distinguishing features. Clients can see screening results as they become available, adapting the experiments to optimize final results based on incoming data.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe flexibility in OmniScreen\u2019s study design options means clients can set up different culture media, candidate compound concentrations, incubation times, and cell seeding options to fit their individual needs.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cReal-time screening means OmniScreen can adjust parameters as soon as a need is identified,\u201d Bao explained.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cTogether with our bioinformatics team, we can revise the experimental design by adjusting the number and types of cancer cell lines used, for example,\u201d Bao elaborated. \u201cThis would be more difficult and time-consuming without real-time screening.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFocused screening panels\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOmniScreen -- a master panel -- increases screening efficiency further by using sub panels, which group cell lines together based on certain characteristics.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWe have different sub panels, such as the XenoSelectTM and RNASeq Panels,\u201d said Bao. \u201cXenoSelect is made of in vivo validated cell lines, which enable clients to move straight from in vitro to in vivo studies using the same cells. RNASeq allows clients to select cell lines based on genomic data.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTo customize their project, clients can choose from between 50 to 500 cell lines from the master panel to meet their individual needs.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nForward projections\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIn the future, bioinformatic approaches could make large-panel cancer cell line screening faster and more efficient. Bioinformatics shows particular potential in identifying biomarkers that indicate responsiveness to a cancer drug, which could help personalize cancer treatments.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cComputational approaches can improve prediction accuracy for drug-cell line interactions,\u201d explained Bao. \u201cFor example, Crown Bioscience is developing computational analysis of a composite biomarker made of 14 genes that can correctly predict the response of 85% of cell lines in a validation test.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMost cancer cell screening methods today are 2D, where cells are cultured on flat plastic surfaces. Crown Bioscience offers 3D screening capabilities in their panel as well, which involves culturing cancer cells on 3D scaffolds. 3D screening mimics in vivo conditions more closely than can 2D screening, and can be used alone or in combination with current standard screening methods.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nInnovations in bioinformatic analysis, improvements in real-time screening, and sophisticated cell culturing methods make OmniScreen\u00a0an invaluable asset for cancer cell screening and drug discovery.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTake a look at what OmniScreen\u00a0by Crown Bioscience has to offer!\r\n\r\nHeader image via Shutterstock.com. Other images courtesy of Crown Bioscience.