12 August, 2019

Top 4 reasons to use peer-reviewed publications to support oncology model research

By Jamie Naden

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Preclinical evaluation of a molecular compound and testing a therapeutic approach for a potential cancer treatment often relies on biomedical research with cancer cell lines. Selecting the most appropriate oncology cell line to support an experimental design and drug development strategy requires careful consideration of a number of factors to ensure the research provides robust results that can translate from in vitro to in vivo and ultimately into the clinic.

Peer-reviewed publications serve as an important component of the pre-planning process to stay up-to-date on the most current literature and findings about results generated from oncology cell lines. These references help researchers compare the advantages and drawbacks of using certain preclinical oncology models, understand potential risks and make more informed decisions in selecting a cell line for their preclinical studies.   

1. Understanding factors that can influence cell line selection

Human cancer-derived cell lines and murine-derived cell lines are considered the fundamental models for evaluating anticancer agents in vitro, but finding the appropriate cell line for an experiment can benefit from reviewing publications on related in vivo research. These publications can help define research goals and how a cell line can support these goals to answer a specific research question. It is important to know if there are any challenges or limitations to reach those goals using a particular cell line.

For example, as a complex disease, the heterogeneity and interactions of cancer with other cells can be difficult to capture in cell line research. Researchers must understand the level of usefulness of their cell line and identify where it may have potential limitations in creating valid, reproducible results.

2. Adding to a team's body of knowledge

The research process often starts with a search strategy to review literature of similar studies and identify potential cell lines of choice. The review should include previous studies using human- or murine-derived cell lines to determine how the researchers modeled their specific condition. After a preliminary search, a more comprehensive literature search can explore the cell line of interest to add to a research team’s body of knowledge. These efforts can lead to more informed decisions in the experimental design and downstream testing.

Given the time and effort of a comprehensive literature search, many researchers may start with freely available publications for databases and libraries. Searching all relevant resources can be cost prohibitive, but once a few cell lines of interest are noted, then a more focused approach could explore the use of proprietary references and resources.

3. Improving scientific strategy

Once a cell line is identified as the most biologically appropriate model for the research, it is also important to determine the level of resources required, estimate costs and evaluate the potential difficulties of working with the cell line.

A literature search can provide a clear understanding of what factors may affect the efficiency and timeline of the research so the planning team can determine the best path ahead for optimizing the process and generating quality data.

4. Finding the most appropriate model

As cell lines continue to play a role in laboratory research, it is essential to ensure relevant and reproducible results, but selecting the most appropriate model for your oncology research can be challenging.

The literature review process allows researchers to leverage historical work and determine how experts from the industry and academia have used certain cell lines to simulate a disease state, learn how the cell lines were maintained and note any observations or results that helped advance their translational research or understanding of the disease state.

To support your search strategy for finding relevant, peer-reviewed publications on specific oncology cell lines, Envigo has curated recent peer-reviewed publications on a wide range of human- and murine-derived cell lines.

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Category // Research models and services, Oncology, Cell-lines