, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 69–74 | Cite as

False cell lines: The problem and a solution

  • John R. Masters


Hundreds of misleading reports are published every year containing data on human cancer cell lines that are derived from some other species, tissue or individual to that claimed. In consequence, millions of dollars provided for cancer research are being spent on the production of misleading data. This review describes how cross-contamination occurs, catalogues the use of false cell lines in leading biomedical journals, and suggests ways to resolve the problem.

authentication cell lines cross-contamination DNA profiling HeLa 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Masters
    • 1
  1. 1.Prostate Cancer Research Centre, UCLLondonU.K. (E-mail

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