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Time to set a standard for drug responses

Two large-scale data sets recently catalogued the sensitivity of a large number of cancer cell lines to pharmacological drugs, and integrated the drug-response data with genomic features, such as mutations and gene expression profiles. This Analysis by John Quackenbush and colleagues compares the two studies and finds that although the gene expression data are largely concordant between them, the reported drug-sensitivity measures and subsequently their association with genomic features are highly discordant. The authors call for standardization of drug-response measurements, to aid the discovery of robust biomarkers and mechanisms of drug response and hence progress in personalized cancer medicine.

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