Chordoma Foundation

New chordoma cell line developed, $10,000 prize awarded

Chordoma researchers have an invaluable new tool at their disposal thanks to Drs. Peter Möller and Silke Brüderlein at the University of Ulm in Germany who have developed a new chordoma cell line – only the second valid chordoma cell line ever created.

The Ulm researchers collaborated with the lab of Dr. Michael Kelley at Duke University, which the Chordoma Foundation funded to characterize the molecular and genetic features of their new cell line in detail using an array of technologies. Publishing their findings in the journal Sarcoma, the team shows that this new cell line has a gene-expression pattern and genomic alterations consistent with chordoma tumors.

The development of this new cell line will help alleviate one of the biggest bottlenecks facing chordoma research. Because each individual tumor – and thus each cell line – is slightly different, multiple cell lines must be tested in order to make meaning of experimental results. Consequently, until now, many researchers wishing to study chordoma have been hamstrung because only one valid chordoma cell line was available.

That will change now that the Ulm researchers have granted the Chordoma Foundation the right to freely distribute their new cell line to researchers across the world. Since 2008, the Chordoma Foundation has distributed the first cell line to over 30 different labs, and in the past month alone has distributed the new cell line to 12 labs.

In recognition of their significant contribution to the field of chordoma research, the Chordoma Foundation awarded a $10,000 prize to Dr. Möller and Dr. Brüderlein. This prize was made possible by a generous contribution from long-time Chordoma Foundation supporters, Michael and Cheryl Torrey.

While the creation of this new cell line is enormously important, more cell lines are critical to enabling the discovery of new treatments. To help spur development of more cell lines, the Chordoma Foundation is sponsoring a challenge through InnoCentive, a world leader in open innovation. The InnoCentive Challenge offers $10,000 for each valid new cell line, and has attracted the interest of over 120 researchers since its launch in July, 2010. Information about this challenge can be found at:

If you would like to help incentivize the creation of new cell lines, please contact Josh Sommer ( about sponsoring a cell line prize.

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