Growth of Cell Lines and Clinical Specimens of Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in a Serum-free Defined Medium

M. Brower, D. N. Carney, H. K. Oie, A. F. Gazdar, J. D. Minna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

207 Scopus citations


We tested the ability of serum-free media to support the in vitro growth of human non-small cell lung carcinoma. A medium containing insulin, transferrin, sodium selenite, hydrocortisone, epidermal growth factor, and bovine serum albumin (1 mg/ml) with serum precoating of culture dishes (modified LA medium) supported three previously established cell lines of non-small cell lung cancer and prevented fibroblast proliferation in fresh tumor specimens but did not support long term tumor cell growth from fresh specimens. We added triiodothyronine, sodium pyruvate, and additional glutamine, insulin, and epidermal growth factor to modified LA medium, precoated with fibronectin and collagen instead of serum, and deleted bovine serum albumin, defining a new medium called ACL-3. ACL-3 medium alone supported the short term growth of 10 of 12 cell lines and the soft agarose cloning of 9 of 12 cell lines tested, and ACL-3 supplemented by an optimal concentration of bovine serum albumin (5 mg/ml) supported the long term growth of 10 of 12 cell lines tested. Moreover, we have grown tumor cells for more than 6 months from 11 of 33 (33%) consecutive fresh clinical specimens of human lung adenocarcinoma in ACL-3 with bovine serum albumin. ACL-3 medium provides a defined environment for the study of growth factor requirements of human non-small cell lung cancer and enhances our ability to grow human lung cancer, particularly adenocarcinoma, in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-806
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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