NCI series of cell lines: An historical perspective

Adi F. Gazdar, John D. Minna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The NCI series of cell lines represent a unique collection of permanent human tumor cell lines established by one laboratory over a period of approximately 16 years. More than 300 cell lines were established, mainly from human lung cancers (both small cell and non-small cell types). In addition, smaller numbers of lines were established from rare and unusual tumors such as cutaneous T cell lymphomas, myelomas and adrenal cortical carcinoma. The T cell lines played a pivotal role in the isolation of human retroviruses including HTLV-1 and HIV. The establishment of such a large panel of lines was aided by the development of defined media for culturing specific cell types. The lines are well characterized, and full clinical data are available for most of them. Many of the lines have been deposited with the American Type Culture Collection, Rockville, MD, where they are readily available for a modest handling fee. The lines have been widely distributed to investigators, and have had a major impact on biomédical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number3324
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Cell culture
  • HIV
  • Human
  • Lung carcinoma
  • Retroviruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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