Terra Sigillata

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).

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So, I was very happy to see this e-mail last evening:

Dear Colleague,

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:
http://dctd.cancer.gov/ResearchResources/ResearchResources-oncologydrugs.htm.

Sincerely,
James H. Doroshow, M.D.
Director
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis
National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, MD 20892
301-496-4291
doroshoj@mail.nih.gov


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

http://dtp.nci.nih.gov/branches/dscb/oncology_drugset_explanation.html
http://dtp.nci.nih.gov/branches/dscb/repo_plates.html

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!

Comments

  1. #1 DrZZ
    May 7, 2009

    Does it violate some rule of the internets to comment on something that you actually know about? Anyway, thanks for the plug and a couple of comments:

    1. All the compounds are in for plate 2 and those copies are currently being generated. If nothing unexpected crops up, plate 2 copies should be available in about 2 weeks.

    2. If you aren’t into plates or if you want some material to follow up on interesting hits from the plates, you can order small amounts of individual compounds. See the description of the open repository.

    (Hope this goes through. Preview seems to be broken)

  2. #2 Abel Pharmboy
    May 7, 2009

    Does it violate some rule of the internets to comment on something that you actually know about?

    Absolutely not, Doc! In fact, the science blogosphere aims to engage with our fellow researchers and agencies. For example, I received some comments from NIAAA press folks when I posted a few weeks ago on their “Rethinking Drinking” website.

    I really, really mean it when I express my admiration for you folks up there. Ever since I was a grad student, I have always been made to feel that we are partners.

    I owe you a bottle of wine or two next time I am in the area. Thanks to you and all of your peeps!

  3. #3 DrZZ
    May 7, 2009

    I owe you a bottle of wine or two next time I am in the area. Thanks to you and all of your peeps!

    Let me know. (I guess everyone and their sibling will be hit up to do reviews in the next few months). I’m accumulating samples for a Va/Md viognier tasting. I’m up to about 8 bottles and it looks like there are some real winners. Lots of interesting things happening in local wines. Some really good roses. There are a number of new wineries and a surprising number of wineries that I thought were only OK on visits 4-5 years ago that are now putting out some really cool things.

  4. #4 Joe
    May 8, 2009

    Would you explain the term “plate”?

  5. #5 DrZZ
    May 8, 2009

    The compounds are dissolved in DMSO and put in the wells of standard 96 well plates. There will be two plates that will contain the complete set (which looks like will consist of 87 different compounds). If you want dry powder, you have to use the option I pointed out in #2 above. You can not request the complete set in powder form.

  6. #6 DrZZ
    May 18, 2009

    Plate #2 should be available for shipment today (Monday May 18). The spreadsheet should be up on the web page sometime to day as well.

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