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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jan 1990; 87(1): 75–79.

Fibroblast-mediated acceleration of human epithelial tumor growth in vivo.


Transformed fibroblasts coinoculated with epithelial cells accelerated the growth and shortened the latency period of human epithelial tumors in athymic mice. Addition of NbF-1 fibroblasts caused epithelial tumors to grow from five marginally tumorigenic or "nontumorigenic" (nontumor-forming) human tumor cell lines or strains: PC-3 (prostate), WH (bladder), MDA-436 (breast), and cells derived from the ascites fluids of patients with metastatic renal pelvic or prostate cancers. Evidence for the human and epithelial nature of these experimental tumors was provided by histologic, immunohistochemical, Southern and dot-blot hybridization, and cytogenetic analyses. Transformed fibroblasts induced predominantly carcinosarcomas, whereas nontumorigenic fibroblasts (NIH 3T3) and lethally irradiated transformed fibroblasts induced exclusively carcinomas. The fibroblast-epithelial interaction appears to occur bidirectionally and does not result from cell fusion. Because coculture experiments in vitro did not demonstrate an increased cell proliferation, it appears that undefined host factors can influence tumor growth. This tumor model may be useful in drug-screening programs and in mechanistic studies of factors regulating human tumor growth and progression.

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