A Unique Panel of Patient-Derived Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Lines Provides a Preclinical Pathway for Therapeutic Testing

Sakinah Hassan, Karin J. Purdie, Jun Wang, Catherine A. Harwood, Charlotte M. Proby, Celine Pourreyron, Nikol Mladkova, Ai Nagano, Sandeep Dhayade, Dimitris Athineos, Matthew Caley, Viviana Mannella, Karen Blyth, Gareth J. Inman, Irene M. Leigh (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
158 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) incidence continues to rise with increasing morbidity and mortality, with limited treatment options for advanced disease. Future improvements in targeted therapy will rely on advances in genomic/transcriptomic understanding and the use of model systems for basic research. We describe here the panel of 16 primary and metastatic cSCC cell lines developed and characterised over the past three decades in our laboratory in order to provide such a resource for future preclinical research and drug screening.

Methods: Primary keratinocytes were isolated from cSCC tumours and metastases, and cell lines were established. These were characterised using short tandem repeat (STR) profiling and genotyped by whole exome sequencing. Multiple in vitro assays were performed to document their morphology, growth characteristics, migration and invasion characteristics, and in vivo xenograft growth.

Results: STR profiles of the cSCC lines allow the confirmation of their unique identity. Phylogenetic trees derived from exome sequence analysis of the matched primary and metastatic lines provide insight into the genetic basis of disease progression. The results of in vivo and in vitro analyses allow researchers to select suitable cell lines for specific experimentation.

Conclusions: There are few well-characterised cSCC lines available for widespread preclinical experimentation and drug screening. The described cSCC cell line panel provides a critical tool for in vitro and in vivo experimentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3428
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2019


  • Cutaneous
  • In vitro
  • Keratinocytes
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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