Establishment and characterization of a novel human ocular adnexal sebaceous carcinoma cell line

Andrew J. Rong, Ryan A. Gallo, Michelle G. Zhang, Ravi Doddapaneni, Anthony J. Griswold, John Y. Lee, Stefan Kurtenbach, Sander R. Dubovy, David T. Tse, Daniel Pelaez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Sebaceous carcinoma (SC) is a malignant eyelid tumor of the ocular adnexa that is primarily treated via surgical excision. Few therapies exist in advanced cases, and medical therapy is limited because of our incomplete understanding of SC biology. Herein, we describe a technique to culture human ocular adnexal SC for use as an in vitro model. Methods: Human ocular adnexal SC tumor cells were isolated from a patient under-going orbital exenteration surgery and named Bascom Palmer 50 (BP50). They were cultured in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle medium/nutrient mixture F-12 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and antibiotics and were maintained at 37°C in humidified 5% CO2 . The cells were characterized by immunohistochemistry, exome sequencing, and short tandem repeats analysis. In vitro drug screening against mitomycin-C (MMC) was performed using a cell viability assay. Results: BP50 grew past 40 passages with a doubling time of 52.3 hours. Immunocyto-chemical staining revealed expression of SC-associated markers adipophilin, epithelial membrane antigen, p53, and androgen receptor. Whole exome sequencing showed a significant carryover in somatic mutations between the tumor tissue and corresponding cell line, revealing genetic markers consistent with SC. MMC affected cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. Conclusions: BP50 displays characteristics of ocular adnexal SC and therefore may facilitate improved understanding of SC biology and the high throughput assessment of novel therapeutic compounds and new drug combinatorial approaches targeted for this disease. Translational Relevance: Drug screening with MMC against these cells shows in vitro evidence to support its continued clinical use in SC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 27 2021


  • Cell line
  • Eyelid cancer
  • Mitomycin C
  • Sebaceous carcinoma
  • Sebaceous gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


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