The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) has long had programs to make available to researchers any variety of compounds, natural and synthetic. These offerings are administered by the Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP) of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD).
So, I was very happy to see this e-mail last evening:
I am pleased to announce that the NCI Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis can now bring a new, important resource to drug discovery efforts. Oncology drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration are being offered in plated sets. A collection of more than 50 oncology drugs is currently available and approximately 30 other drugs will become obtainable soon. The compounds are provided as 20 microliters at 10mM in 100% DMSO.
For more information about the sets and how to obtain them, please go to:
James H. Doroshow, M.D.
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis
National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, MD 20892
The set of 50 that is currently available can be viewed in this Excel file. The file contains hyperlinks to the chemical structures of each as well as the activity of each in the NCI 60-cancer cell line panel.
These small amounts of compounds allow one to screen a very diverse group of clinically-approved drugs against any variety of biochemical or cellular assays. Perhaps understand if your particular pathway is influenced by a chemical or mechanistic class of compounds or is common to all cytotoxic or anti-proliferative compounds? The compounds range from old classics such as hydroxyurea and nitrogen mustard to rapamycin and gemcitabine.
The beauty is that the Approved Oncology Drugs set is available free-of-charge to qualified researchers (academic researchers, NCI-funded or not, small businesses, etc.) and gets around having to hunt down and order each from various vendors, usually at $50-500 for a milligram or so. Within this set, NCI DCTD-DTP is making available proprietary compounds that they have purchased from commercial suppliers.
I’ll probably wait to put in my request until all 85 are available but this is simply a terrific resource and a great service to cancer researchers.
Instructions on requesting this compound set, or any other compounds or collections from NCI, can be found here
Many, many thanks to our friends and colleagues at NCI for helping our research along (and the patients on whose behalf we work) during these trying economic times!