The goal of our study was to develop a panel of tumor cell lines along with paired non-malignant cell lines or strains collected from breast cancers, predominantly primary tumors. From a total of 189 breast tumor samples consisting of 177 primary tumors and 12 metastatic tissues, we established 21 human breast tumor cell lines that included 18 cell lines derived from primary tumors and 3 derived from metastatic lesions. Cell lines included those from patients with germline BRCA1 and FHIT gene mutations and others with possible genetic predisposition. For 19 tumor cell lines, we also established one or more corresponding non-malignant cell strains or B lymphoblastoid (BL) lines, which included 16 BL lines and 7 breast epithelial (2) or stromal (5) cell strains. The present report describes clinical, pathological and molecular information regarding the normal and tumor tissue sources along with relevant personal information and familial medical history. Analysis of the breast tumor cell lines indicated that most of the cell lines had the following features: they were derived from large tumors with or without axillary node metastases; were aneuploid and exhibited a moderate to poorly differentiated phenotype; were estrogen receptor (ER)- and progesterone receptor (PR)-negative; and overexpressed p53 and HER2/neu proteins. Of 13 patients with primary breast cancers receiving curative intent mastectomies, 7 were dead after a mean period of 10 months. Our panel of paired tumor and non-malignant cell lines should provide important new reagents for breast cancer research.