New Human Tumor Cell Lines

Jørgen Fogh, Germain Trempe.
There has been a feeling of frustration among many investigators trying to establish cell lines of human tumor cells. Numerous unsuccessful attempts, many of which have remained unpublished, have led to the conclusion that cell line establishment is controlled by the rare occurrence of a tumor with a built-in potential for long-term in vitro growth and by the application of intriguing culture techniques. The results given in the present chapter may, at least in part, contradict these conclusions. With techniques which in no particular way stand out as unusual, and by using medium and serum combinations, and in some cases added hormones, which are generally known to everyone involved in tissue culture, we have, during a rather short period of time, established a high number of new cell lines. These have originated from primary or metastatic human tumors, solid or effusions. In all fairness, many of our attempts to establish continuous lines have failed. However, the total number of attempts over successes is not truly representative of the frequency with which lines might be established. Many variations must be considered in this respect, including the choice of material, collection procedures, lapse of time between the clinical procedure and preparation for tissue culture, technical competence of assistants, and incidental factors known to everyone working in tissue culture. One thing, however, stands out as a conclusion: the careful attention to all the minute details provided by the dedicated tissue culturist seems to be the most important of all factors and cannot well be substituted for by special recipes or fancy equipment.