This report characterizes nine new cell lines derived from patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The lines were initiated between July 1990 and July 1992 from solid tumors (5 lines) or effusions (4 lines) and had proliferated for a period of at least 2 months without senescence. They were characterized by cell size, doubling time, immunohistochemical analyses, electron microscopy, and chromosomal karyotyping. Growth factor/cytokine elaboration was determined using enzyme-linked immunoassays. The established lines were similar in morphology to their parent tumor (ie, epithelial or sarcomatoid). Cell sizes ranged from 59 to 81 microns, and the doubling times varied from 31 to 65 hours. The lines stained with cytokeratin and showed expected negative staining for adenomarkers including B72.3 and carcinoembryonic antigen. All cell lines exhibited aneuploidy, with modal chromosome numbers between 40 and 81 and had multiple chromosomal aberrations. Significant production of granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor, leukemia inhibitory factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and interleukin-6 was seen. These new cell lines derived from human mesotheliomas can now be used to aid in the design of innovative treatment strategies.