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Cytotechnology. 2002 Jul;39(2):69-74. doi: 10.1023/A:1022908930937.

False cell lines: The problem and a solution.

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Prostate Cancer Research Centre, UCL, London, U.K. (E-mail,


Hundreds of misleading reports are published every year containing data on human cancer cell lines that are derived from some other species, tissue or individual to that claimed. In consequence, millions of dollars provided for cancer research are being spent on the production of misleading data. This review describes how cross-contamination occurs, catalogues the use of false cell lines in leading biomedical journals, and suggests ways to resolve the problem.

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