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Int J Oncol. 2012 Aug;41(2):765-75. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2012.1468. Epub 2012 May 8.

A tumor-derived population (SCCOHT-1) as cellular model for a small cell ovarian carcinoma of the hypercalcemic type.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University, Hannover, Germany.


The small cell ovarian carcinoma of the hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) represents an aggressive tumor with poor prognosis predominantly affecting young women and so far, no cell line or animal model is available to investigate this devastating disease. Biopsy material from a recurrent SCCOHT was subjected to an explant culture to obtain an adherent and continuously proliferating cell population. Morphological and functional characterization revealed a heterogeneous population (SCCOHT-1) of about 13 µm in diameter and approximately 36 h of doubling time. Flow cytometric analysis of surface markers demonstrated the expression of CD15, CD29, CD44 and CD90 paralleled by the presence of cytokeratins and vimentin. Cytogenetic analysis and high-resolution oligo-array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) demonstrated a stable karyotype including deletions of the PARK2, CSMD1, GRIN2B and ATF7IP genes. Following lentiviral transduction with a GFP vector, the labeled SCCOHT-derived cells were subjected to CCE to separate distinct subpopulations as evidenced by cell cycle analysis. Subcutaneous injection of these subpopulations into NOD/SCID mice exhibited hypercalcemia and a tumor development in 100% of the mice. Re-cultivation of the mouse tumors revealed an outgrowth of SCCOHT-derived phenotypes and all cell populations expressed high telomerase activity. Moreover, histopathological evaluation demonstrated close similarities between the mouse tumors and the original patient tumor. In conclusion, SCCOHT-1 cells provide a study platform to investigate this rare disease and to examine effective and sufficient therapeutic strategies for this rather unknown type of cancer.

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