A new international project has been launched to create a large, globally accessible, bank of new cancer cell culture models to promote research on cancer treatment.
The project has been joined by Cancer Research UK, National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the foundation Hubrecht Organoid Technology in a bid to develop the Human Cancer Models Initiative (HCMI).
The initiative aims to integrate the expertise worldwide in order to make approximately 1,000 cancer cell models.
Through the use of new techniques to grow cells, scientists can make cancer cell models that will be able to better resemble the tissue architecture and complexity of human tumours than the cell lines used at present.
Cancer Research UK clinical research director Dr Ian Walker said: "This exciting new project means that we can expand our resources for researchers worldwide.
"We want scientists to have the best resources to be able to easily study all types of cancer. And these new cell lines could transform how we study cancer and help to develop better treatments for patients."
The cancer cell models will use tissue from patients with different types of cancer, including rare and children's cancers, which are mostly under-represented or completely unavailable in existing cell line collections.
The newly developed models are capable to demonstrate the biology of tumours more accurately, as well as better represent the patient population.
The tumour and new models will be genetically sequenced.
HCMI will enable scientists to study several aspects of cellular biology and cancer, such as how the disease progresses, drug resistance, and the development of precision medicine treatments.