What is canSAR?
canSAR is an integrated database that brings together biological, chemical, pharmacological (and
eventually clinical) data. Its goal is to integrate this data and make it accessible to cancer research
scientists from multiple disciplines, to aid hypothesis generation and decision making towards
identifying causes, biomarkers and therapeutics for cancer.
Do I need a license to use canSAR?
No. canSAR is freely available to all cancer researchers, both academic and commercial. Please read the
Why is canSAR called 'canSAR'?
canSAR is a historical play on words to reflect the fact that it integrates cancer-relevant data with
compound Structure-Activity-Relationship (SAR) data. Of course canSAR has grown to be much more than
that but the name stuck!
I seem to find that some functionality is missing when using IE
Internet Explorer (IE) is a non-standards compliant browser. This means that standards laid down by the
international community describing various aspects of web protocols are not fully implemented by the IE
team and often cause IE to fail to display pages or functionalities of the web site. Due to the advanced
nature of the web interface provided by canSAR, many of the techniques implemented use technoligies that
are not properly supported by IE. We recommend using
to benefit from the full functionality of canSAR.
How can I inform you of any bugs or problems?
We really appreciate being told about bugs or any other issues you experience while using canSAR. Please
email us on
[email protected] .
How can I cite canSAR?
To cite canSAR please cite:
Joseph E. Tym, Costas Mitsopoulos, Elizabeth A. Coker, Parisa Razaz, Amanda C. Schierz, Albert A.
Antolin, and Bissan Al-Lazikani.
canSAR: an updated cancer research and drug discovery knowledgebase
Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Jan 4;44(D1):D938-43. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv1030. Epub 2015 Dec 15.
Where does the data in canSAR come from?
canSAR data comes from a wide variety of public sources and publications. The ICR internal version of
canSAR also includes internally generated experimental data. For latest data sources and statistics,
please refer to
How often is the data in canSAR updated?
We try to have a data and minor functionality update on a monthly basis. However, most of the data in
canSAR comes from public sources which have different update cycles. The
allow you to see the status of each update.
How frequently is the 3D structural data updated in canSAR?
We update 3D structures every week, a couple of days after PDB release new structures in order for us to
provide additional annotations and integrate this data with the respective chemical and biological
information in canSAR.
Do I need to know the official gene name to search for a target?
No, canSAR searches all alternative names, synonyms, descriptions and keywords.
What organisms does canSAR store data on?
canSAR target dictionary focusses on human data, although we have a large number of model organism
targets. Target key word searches only search human targets . Chemical screening data is from a wide
variety of organisms.
I still cannot find my target and I have searched for different names
Is your target not a human target? Try expanding the search by clicking on "Advanced Search", then
choose "All organisms".
If you still cannot find your target (this rarely ever happens), and you can obtain the amino acid
sequence of your target from another source, try performing a sequence search. If you still cannot find
your target, please let us know by emailing
and we will try our best to help.
I cannot find a compound by searching for its name, but I expect it to be in canSAR
We annotate compound synonyms in canSAR wherever we can. However, to make sure, please do a chemical
structure search. If you think data is missing then please contact us on
How do I find out what tissues or cell lines show high expression of my target?
If it is a single target, it is best to view the Target Synopsis and go to the Expression area. There
you will find a list of tissues and cell lines with expression levels. See "Target Synopsis" in the
Quick Start section for a quick guide on how to do this. If you have multiple targets that you want to
know the expression for at once, please use the expression tool (In the tools section)
How do I find out if there is half life or other ADME data for my compound?
This information can be obtained from the "Compound Synopsis" Page for a given compound.
Can I do a batch substructure search using an SDF of a list of compounds as the query?
At the moment this functionality is not enabled because of the stress it will put on the server, thus
possibly hindering other users. We are working to identify the best way to to do this.
What chemical cartridge is used to do the chemical searches?
We use Symyx Cartridge.
How do I find out if X-ray structures are available for my target?
You can do this by viewing the "Target Synopsis" and going to the "Structural ligandability" section.
How do I download the drug combination data?
You can do this from this link: