Cell Based Phenotypic >> Oncology >> Drug combinations

Drug combinations

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Cancer is a multi-dimensional disease driven by genetic instability and selective pressure to continue to persist.  As such, an ever changing tumor presents a formidable challenge to effectively treat.  Given this challenge, a strategy that continues to be employed is a multi-prong attack on the tumor to eliminate multiple traits and/or to prevent the tumor from developing resistance mechanism to circumventing treatment. 

To support this multi-prong approach to cancer therapy, combinations of therapeutics (small-molecules or biologics) are tested on OncoPanel™ cell lines in a dose response matrix. This data format is ideal for a variety of downstream drug-drug combination analyses including calculation of combination index, isobolographic analysis, and determination of excess over Bliss independence.

Goals of for drug combination studies:

  • Increase the efficacy of drugs
  • Combat drug resistance
  • Provide long-term tumor control for patients
  • Increase the therapeutic window of individual chemotherapies
  • Combine small molecules and biologics



Figure 1. Drug combination analysis of two test agents

Top) Dose response matrix of two agents, compound A and compound B, with excess over Bliss independence shown using cell proliferation values expressed as a percentage. Values ≥ 15 represent dose combinations that are considered significantly synergistic. Bottom) The same data displayed as a surface plot. Dose combinations at or above the green band indicate significant synergy.