Tumors, whether they be of clonal or polyclonal origin, are dynamic processes, constantly undergoing alterations, both in vivo and in vitro. However, in many if not most tumors, certain properties are relatively stable. There must be selective advantages for tumor populations to maintain these properties. A careful comparison of the properties of tumors and their cell lines, and correlating these data with the clinical history of the tumor is essential. From such studies we conclude that cell lines are suitable models to study the biology of SCLC and many important contributions would have been impossible without a large comprehensive panel of cell lines. These lines may be suitable for the selection of the best in vitro regimen to treat individual patients from whom the lines were derived, a hypothesis currently being tested in our Branch. Finally, in vitro studies already (and will continue to) suggest newer, more rational approaches to tumor control.
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