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The term ovarian cancer describes a heterogeneous group of tumours that grow in the ovary but are not necessarily of ovarian origin. Recent genomic analysis has shown that many of the most commonly used ovarian cancer cell lines have been mischaracterised, leading to erroneous conclusions and a gap in the translation of laboratory research into novel treatments for patients. Here, we use 10 epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines to investigate 2D migration, cell cycle parameters and 3D invasion behaviour into different substrates and find significant differences between the behaviours of cell lines from different origins. Cell lines derived from non-serous carcinomas migrated more quickly and were more likely to invade into Matrigel and collagen I substrates than cell lines derived from high-grade serous carcinomas. However not all cell lines derived from non-serous carcinomas exhibited similar invasive behaviour. These findings may reflect differences in the behaviour of the primary tumour types from which the cell lines were derived, given that high-grade serous carcinomas typically expand and spread over peritoneal surfaces. These results provide the basis of an in vitro model for identifying differences between ovarian cancer tumour types.


Amelia Hallas-Potts, John C Dawson, C Simon Herrington. Ovarian cancer cell lines derived from non-serous carcinomas migrate and invade more aggressively than those derived from high-grade serous carcinomas. Scientific reports. 2019 Apr 02;9(1):5515

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PMID: 30940866

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