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Part of the book series: Developments in Oncology ((DION,volume 64))

Abstract

Human breast carcinomas epitomize the observation that malignant human tumours are often more difficult to culture than the corresponding normal cells (Whitescarver, 1974; Cailleau, 1975; Whitehead, 1976; Hallowes et al., 1917). Compared with other tumours, a relatively small number of bona fide cell lines have been established from breast cancer, given the amount of effort that has been expended (see Engel and Young (1978) for review). Approximately 50 lines have been reported, of which perhaps 20 are sufficiently well-authenticated to merit continued use. The first line (BT-20) was obtained in 1958 by Lasfargues and Ozzello, but some other lines were the result of inter- and intraspecies contamination (Nelson-Rees and Flandermeyer, 1977; Sciciliano et al., 1979). Only a few breast cell lines have been extensively studied, MCF-7 (Soule et al., 1973) being the best known example. This too has reportedly suffered cross-contamination with other cells in some stocks (Graham et al., 1986). The relative lack of interest in many of the other lines has been partly due to their slow growth rates and also because many lack detectable hormonal responses. Some of these other lines (Table 1) do, however, have other interesting attributes, for example amplified expression of oncogenes (Kraus et al., 1987). However, the receptor status is in many instances based on data using relatively insensitive methods; some hormone-responsive lines (e.g. PMC42) have relatively low receptor levels compared with ‘classical’ estrogen receptor-positive lines such as MCF-7.

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O’Hare, M.J. (1991). Breast Cancer. In: Masters, J.R.W. (eds) Human Cancer in Primary Culture, A Handbook. Developments in Oncology, vol 64. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-3304-3_13

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-3304-3_13

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