Multilevel models improve precision and speed of IC50 estimates.



Experimental variation in dose-response data of drugs tested on cell lines result in inaccuracies in the estimate of a key drug sensitivity characteristic: the IC50. We aim to improve the precision of the half-limiting dose (IC50) estimates by simultaneously employing all dose-responses across all cell lines and drugs, rather than using a single drug-cell line response.


The new estimates are highly concordant with the currently used Bayesian model when the data are well behaved. Otherwise, the multilevel model is clearly superior.


The multilevel model yields a significant reduction of extreme IC50 estimates, an increase in precision and it runs orders of magnitude faster.


We propose a multilevel mixed effects model that takes advantage of all available dose-response data.

More about this publication

  • Volume 17
  • Issue nr. 7
  • Pages 691-700
  • Publication date 01-05-2016

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