Trends in Cancer
Although cancer research is progressing at an exponential rate, translating this knowledge to develop better cancer drugs and more effectively match drugs to patients is lagging. Genome profiling of tumors provides a snapshot of the genetic complexity of individual tumors, yet this knowledge is insufficient to guide therapy for most patients. Model systems, usually cancer cell lines or mice, have been instrumental in cancer research and drug development, but translation of results to the clinic is inefficient, in part, because these models do not sufficiently reflect the complexity and heterogeneity of human cancer. Here, we discuss the potential of combining genomics with high-throughput functional testing of patient-derived tumor cells to overcome key roadblocks in both drug target discovery and precision medicine.