Neoplastic Transformation Systems — Their Use in Studying Carcinogenesis

  • Andrew Sivak
  • Alice S. Tu
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 91)


The cellular systems to study neoplasia essentially stem from two sources. One is the observation that one can induce alterations in cellular phenotype in a culture of cells infected with tumorigenic DNA viruses (1). The second is the finding of Berwald and Sachs in 1963 (2,3) that early passage Syrian hamster embryo cells exhibited clonal morphology not seen in untreated cultures following exposure to a chemical carcinogen. While the work of Earle and his associates (4) beginning in the nineteen thirties had demonstrated changes in cell cultures treated with carcinogens, it was the protocol and results reported in 1963 (2,3) that provided a means to obtain quantitative and reproducible findings of morphological transformation of mammalian cells induced by chemical carcinogens. Over the past two decades a considerable variety of systems have been described to study neo-plastic transformation. Of these, several have been shown to have value as bioassays for the identification of carcinogens. The properties as well as the advantages and disadvantages of these assays have been reviewed in depth recently along with a presentation of the available data base on tested chemicals (5–9). Table 1 lists these assay types along with some basic characteristics.


NEOPLASTIC Transformation Embryo Cell Chemical Carcinogen Morphological Transformation Transformation Assay 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Sivak
    • 1
  • Alice S. Tu
    • 1
  1. 1.Biomedical Research and Technology SectionArthur D. Little, Inc.CambridgeUSA

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