Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines: established models and rationale for selection

Head Neck. 2007 Feb;29(2):163-88. doi: 10.1002/hed.20478.


Background: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines are important preclinical models in the search for novel and targeted therapies to treat head and neck cancer. Unlike many other cancer types, a wide variety of primary and metastatic HNSCC cell lines are available. An easily accessible guide that organizes important characteristics of HNSCC cell lines would be valuable for the selection of appropriate HNSCC cell lines for in vitro or in vivo studies.

Methods: A literature search was performed.

Results: Cell growth and culture parameters from HNSCC cell lines were catalogued into tables or lists of selected characteristics. Methods for establishing cancer cell lines and basic cell culture maintenance techniques were reviewed.

Conclusions: A compendium of HNSCC cell line characteristics is useful for organizing the accumulating information regarding cell line characteristics to assist investigators with the development of appropriate preclinical models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous