06. 2015 | Characterization of twenty-five ovarian tumour cell lines that phenocopy primary tumours | Read Full Article
More than 60 years have passed since the establishment of the first human cancer cell line, HeLa, in 1951 (ref. 1). Since then, human tumour cell lines have had an extremely important impact on cancer research and greatly facilitated development of a variety of cancer treatments that benefit human patients.
Human carcinomas that grow uncontrollably in the body are often paradoxically difficult to grow in cell culture. A robust and efficient cell line model system that predicts patient response to
various drugs would greatly improve development and implementation of new drugs for personalized treatment of cancer patients.
Despite many decades of improvements in methods for establishing cancer cell lines, it remains extremely difficult to routinely establish high-quality, permanent cell lines from human primary tumours with high efficiency, limiting the number and diversity of cell lines available for study. Moreover, in many tumour types, only high-grade subtypes have yielded cell lines, resulting in collections that do not accurately reflect the true spectrum of tumours encountered in the clinic.
Further, many of the tumour cell lines available are of uncertain origin due to the lack of ‘fingerprinting’ technology able to ascertain identity when the lines were developed. In
addition, the original tumour is not available for analysis with modern technology such as next-generation sequencing. Thus, a more efficient method of establishing human tumours as cultures that reflect the heterogeneity of human tumours is highly desirable and could offer a more effective platform for drug discovery.