Human cancer cell lines: fact and fantasy

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Dec;1(3):233-6. doi: 10.1038/35043102.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Mycoplasma / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Phenotype
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured*