Clinical OMICS

MAY-JUN 2019

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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30 Clinical OMICs May/June 2019 www.clinicalomics.com Cell Line Misclassification Hinders Health Disparities Research in Prostate Cancer By Christina Bennett O ne of the few commercially available cell lines for researchers studying prostate cancer in African-Amer- icans appears to have been misclassified. The misclassified cell line, E006AA-hT, is advertised as African-American but in fact carries 92 percent European ancestry, according to a study recently published in Cancer Epidemiology, Bio- markers & Prevention. "I'm not surprised at all," said co-senior study author Rick Kittles, Ph.D., associate director of health equities, Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Hope. "I've been doing this ancestry estimation work for my research for probably close to 20 years now, and one of the things that I consistently have seen from the beginning is the misclassi- fication [of race]." In fact, rumors have been swirling about the ancestral classification of E006AA-hT well before the study was published. Co-senior study author Sean Kimbro, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at North Carolina Central University, said discussions about the true ancestry of E006AA-hT have been taking place within the prostate cancer research community for "at least a year" and "some folks stopped using it." The study researchers genotyped the E006AA-hT cell line from three different sources, one of which was an orig- inal purchase from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). Consistently, they found the same result: The E006AA-hT cell line was mostly of European ancestry, not African-American. The researchers genotyped fourteen other cell lines from various cancer types and found that all the cancer cell lines classified as having white or Caucasian ancestry were accurately described, whereas the cell lines classified as black or African-American had varied accu- racy. Specifically, the 22Rv1 prostate cancer cell line, which is classified as having mixed ancestry, in fact carried 99 percent European ancestry. In addition, the MDA-MB-468 "We had no reason to doubt that the line we cultured did not originate from an African-American prostate tumor. We now believe it may have been contaminated in its early passages with the 786-0 cell line before it was cryopreserved." —Shahriar Koochekpour, M.D., Ph.D. Roswell Park Cancer Institute The misclassification of cell lines has significant research implications. MilliporeSigma

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