Human cancer cell lines: fact and fantasy

Abstract

Cancer cell lines are used in many biomedical research laboratories. Why, then, are they often described as unrepresentative of the cells from which they were derived? Here, I argue that they have been unjustly accused. Under the right conditions, and with appropriate controls, properly authenticated cancer cell lines retain the properties of the cancers of origin.

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Figure 1: DNA profiling of short tandem repeats.

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Acknowledgements

I thank Alan Entwistle, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University College London for help preparing the time-lapse movies and Jim Thomson, Laboratory of the Government Chemist, London, UK for providing images for Figure 1.

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Laboratory of the Government Chemist

German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures

Society for In Vitro Biology

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Masters, J. Human cancer cell lines: fact and fantasy. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 1, 233–236 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/35043102

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