Growth of a Human Breast Cancer Cell Line in Serum-free Hormone-supplemented Medium

Joseph C. Allegra, Marc E. Lippman

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111 Scopus citations


ZR-75-1, a human breast cancer cell line, has been grown in hormone- supplemented medium without serum. The factors required for optimal growth include 17β-estradiol, insulin, transferrin, dexamethasone, and L- triiodothyronine. If estradiol, insulin, or L-triiodothyronine is omitted, cells cease division within 7 days, but viability is retained for at least 14 days. Omission of transferrin leads to cell death within 7 days. The cells have been continuously maintained in this environment without morphological alteration or cessation of growth for more than 5 months. Addition of the anti-estrogen, Tamoxifen (10-6 M), inhibited cells below the growth rate seen when estradiol was omitted from the medium, even when Tamoxifen was added 4 days and two medium changes after the removal of estradiol from the medium, thus suggesting an action of Tamoxifen which may be independent of competition with estradiol. The availability of a human breast cancer cell line that can be propagated in hormone-supplemented medium without serum should aid in the study of the mechanisms by which hormones effect cell growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3823-3829
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
StatePublished - Nov 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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