Most popular ovarian cancer cell lines do not resemble ovarian cancer

July 15, 2013, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center recently discovered that the most frequently used cancer cell lines in ovarian cancer research are not suitable models of ovarian cancer. Their findings are the result of a detailed review of genomic data that recently became publicly available. Their methods, published in this week's Nature Communications, could provide a usable framework for other researchers to better assess cell lines' validity for future use in this and in other types of cancer research.

Computational biologists Nikolaus Schultz and Rileen Sinha, and biochemist Silvia Domcke, focused their review on high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), the most commonly diagnosed and frequently studied subtype of ovarian cancer. Using datasets from The Cancer Genome Atlas and the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, which detail and define the genomic features of numerous clinical samples and cell lines, the team analyzed and then ranked several cell lines by their genomic similarities to tissue samples and, in doing so, uncovered multiple discrepencies between the cell lines and actual human tumors.

"Our review showed that the two most utilized cell lines, accounting for almost 60 percent of all published research studies, do not resemble HGSOC well at all," explained Dr. Schultz, the paper's lead author. "The problem with this is, investigators assumed they were studying high-grade serous , when in reality they were looking at something else. So conclusions drawn from this work might be misleading."

Cancer cell lines are generated and grown indefinitely in laboratories around the world, but are ultimately derived from human tumors. For the past several decades, they have been the most popular model for the study of cancer because they are inexpensive and easy to replicate. However, the origin of some cell lines is not well established, and through years in culture, they can acquire additional changes, making them less desirable.

"With the explosion of now at our fingertips and the potential for more to become available, it's our hope that this approach can be used by our colleagues to choose optimal cell lines, as we do expect similar discrepencies in other tumor types," said Dr. Schultz. "Overall, we believe these findings should greatly benefit the study of cancer."

Explore further: Resistance is futile: Researchers identify gene that mediates cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer

Related Stories

Resistance is futile: Researchers identify gene that mediates cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer

April 15, 2013
Platinum compounds, such as cisplatin and carboplatin, induce DNA cross-linking, prohibiting DNA synthesis and repair in rapidly dividing cells. They are first line therapeutics in the treatment of many solid tumors, but ...

Tools for better understanding breast cancer stem cells

June 4, 2013
A joint project between the Griffith University and the UQ Centre for clinical Research (UQCCR) has characterised an in vitro model that allows further studies on the breast cancer biology.

Mechanisms of acquired chemoresistance in ovarian cancer identified

August 15, 2012
The presence of multiple ovarian cancer genomes in an individual patient and the absence or downregulation of the gene LRP1B are associated with the development of chemoresistance in women with the high-grade serous cancer ...

Cisplatin-resistant cancer cells sensitive to experimental anticancer drugs, PARP inhibitors

April 3, 2013
Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors may be a novel treatment strategy for patients with cancer that has become resistant to the commonly used chemotherapy drug cisplatin, according to data from a preclinical study published ...

New study highlights strong anti-cancer properties of soybeans

March 20, 2013
Soybean meal is a bi-product following oil extraction from soybean seeds. It is rich in protein, which usually makes up around 40% of the nutritional components of the seeds and dependent on the line, and can also contain ...

Scientists create method to personalize chemotherapy drug selection

February 14, 2013
In laboratory studies, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a way to personalize chemotherapy drug selection for cancer patients by using cell lines created from their own tumors.

Recommended for you

Researchers create a drug to extend the lives of men with prostate cancer

March 16, 2018
Fifteen years ago, Michael Jung was already an eminent scientist when his wife asked him a question that would change his career, and extend the lives of many men with a particularly lethal form of prostate cancer.

Machine-learning algorithm used to identify specific types of brain tumors

March 15, 2018
An international team of researchers has used methylation fingerprinting data as input to a machine-learning algorithm to identify different types of brain tumors. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team ...

Higher doses of radiation don't improve survival in prostate cancer

March 15, 2018
A new study shows that higher doses of radiation do not improve survival for many patients with prostate cancer, compared with the standard radiation treatment. The analysis, which included 104 radiation therapy oncology ...

Joint supplement speeds melanoma cell growth

March 15, 2018
Chondroitin sulfate, a dietary supplement taken to strengthen joints, can speed the growth of a type of melanoma, according to experiments conducted in cell culture and mouse models.

Improved capture of cancer cells in blood could help track disease

March 15, 2018
Tumor cells circulating throughout the body in blood vessels have long been feared as harbingers of metastasizing cancer - even though most free-floating cancer cells will not go on to establish a new tumor.

Area surrounding a tumor impacts how breast cancer cells grow

March 14, 2018
Cancer is typically thought of as a tumor that needs to be removed or an area that needs to be treated with radiation or chemotherapy. As a physicist and cancer researcher, Joe Gray, Ph.D., thinks differently.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.