The August issue of Biotechniques highlights the importance of validating the identity of cell lines used in research studies (for example, in developing cancer therapies). Cell line contamination has been a problem in many scientific studies—even those already published—the majority of which are funded by public funds and charitable grants. Because many subsequent research studies are based on past results, the implications of a contaminated cell line are far-reaching.
In an effort to save research dollars from going to waste, the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) will be creating a standard for cell line authentication methods by the end of this year. The ATCC is one of the major organizations that acquires, characterizes, authenticates, and distributes standard reference cell lines throughout the world. These recommendations will address the methods used to identify and validate cell lines and include checkpoints throughout a research study during which cell line validation must take place.
The current standard method of authenticating human cell lines is STR profiling—the same technology that is used in human identification as well as paternity testing. DDC has specialized in STR profiling for over 13 years, and offers complete cell line validation DNA testing. For more information, call DDC and speak directly with a cell line specialist at 1-800-528-1533.