This week two papers were published reporting results of research done on a cell line provided by the Chordoma Foundation.
- The effects of chemotherapeutic agents on differentiated chordoma cells.
- In vitro characterization of cells derived from chordoma cell line U-CH1 following treatment with X-rays, heavy ions and chemotherapeutic drugs.
Cell lines are a critical tool for cancer research. Immortal cells that grow continuously in laboratory petri dishes, cell lines are used for a wide variety of experiments from testing the effectiveness of drugs to studying the function of genes that cancer cells rely on to grow.
In 2008 the Chordoma Foundation began distributing the U-CH1 chordoma cell line – the only valid chordoma cell line in existence at the time – and in 2010 started distributing a second cell line called U-CH2. Since 2008, the Chordoma Foundation has shipped cells to over 40 labs across the world, including the two labs – in Japan and Turkey – that published papers this week.
The paper from Yedipe University in Istanbul, Turkey reports a way to make chordoma cells more sensitive to chemotherapy, while the paper from the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba, Japan presents findings which could provide biological rationale for treating chordoma with heavy ion radiation. Both papers acknowledge the Chordoma Foundation for providing the U-CH1 cell line, without which neither study would have been possible. The publication of these two papers underscores the value of making valid chordoma cell lines accessible to the research community, and provides tangible examples of the return on the Chordoma Foundation’s investment in developing, characterizing and distributing cell lines over the past three years.
While these papers are encouraging, they are limited in reporting data from studying only one cell line. More chordoma cell lines are needed in order to validate these results and to make more research like this possible. To help meet that need, the Chordoma Foundation continues to offer a $10,000 prize for each new chordoma cell line that is created, with the goal of developing 10 valid chordoma cell lines. Currently, the Chordoma Foundation is working to validate and/or obtain the rights to distribute three promising new cell lines. Once available, these cell lines will enable even more research like the studies reported this week.