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By Mehmet Gunduz; Esra Gunduz

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2010) and probably others. Figure 2 below, extracted from Wang & Tompkins 2008, shows the expression of the different human hepatic CYP and their contribution to metabolize clinically-used drugs. No analog study was performed in breast tissue, and a fortiori in breast cancer cell lines. However, the literature reports the presence of CYP3A4 (the CYP enzyme the most involved in drug metabolism) in MCF-7, T47D and MDA-MB-231 (Nagaoka et al. 2006; Chen et al. 2009; Mitra et al. 2011), of CYP2B6 in MCF-7 and T47D (Lo et al.

25  Under chemical pressure, normal cells in culture can also be immortalised. This is the case for some cell lines as 184A1 and 184B5 which were obtained by exposition to benzo[a]pyrène, a chemical carcinogen, leading to clonal events which are the origin of these immortal cell lines (Stampfer 1989). The use of these “non cancerous” cell lines is important to give a comparison point to results obtained with cancerous cell lines. However, there are drawbacks and controversy to their use, the major one concerning the way they were obtained.

Only a hundred of BCCL are currently available and three of them have been extensively studied and represent now nearly 80% of the 35 000 publications mentioning breast cancer cell lines (Lacroix & Leclercq 2004). Most of the cell lines were created from cells derived from metastasis or from pleural effusion. Pleural effusions contain large amounts of well isolated tumour cells and few contaminating cells such as fibroblasts, thus making their recovery and growing easier than those of cells directly derived from primary tumours or metastasis.

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