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Use of an efficient method for culturing human mammary epithelial cells to study adriamycin sensitivity


Techniques are described for isolating, cryopreserving, and culturing human mammary epithelial cells of both normal and malignant origin. The cells can be grown either in mass culture or as a clonal assay suitable for quantitating drug sensitivity. With this clonal assay plating efficiencies of 6%–41% were routinely obtained. We examined the response to adriamycin of five different primary carcinoma cultures from patients without prior drug therapy. We were able to detect heterogeneity in response to adriamycin among the breast carcinoma cultures as well as heterogeneity among subpopulations within a single carcinoma. The differences in adriamycin sensitivity were unrelated to growth rates in culture.

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Correspondence to Helene S. Smith.

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Smith, H.S., Hackett, A.J., Lan, S. et al. Use of an efficient method for culturing human mammary epithelial cells to study adriamycin sensitivity. Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol. 6, 237–244 (1981).

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  • Carcinoma
  • Growth Rate
  • Epithelial Cell
  • Cancer Research
  • Drug Therapy