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Cancer cell lines evolve in ways that affect how they respond to drugs (broadinstitute.org)
17 points by dsr12 75 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments



>"Long thought to be genetically stable and identical, cancer cell lines harbor significant levels of genetic variation, which may help explain why it can be hard to reproduce findings in cell line-based research."

Who thought this?


When people say "cell line" they mean a proliferation of a specific subclonal population in the lab.

Cancer cells in vivo are known to have clonal evolution [1]. This paper is specifically talking about in vitro growth on a petri dish. The problem is when a biopsy is taken it includes some cancer cells and some normal tissue. The cancer cells need to be isolated, then multiplied to have enough material to work with. This paper suggests this process results in heterogenous progeny - differing in key mutations related to immunotherapy.

(disclaimer: not anywhere near an expert, software guy in bioinformatics)

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3367003/


Yes, it is well known there are a certain number of mutations (indels, point mutations, chromosomal rearrangements, etc) per division and cells in a dish divide many, many times.

Why would anyone think they would not harbour significant levels of genetic variation? This makes it sound like they just spent 40 years misinterpreting data because they didnt do some basic algebra.




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