Chick embryonic skin as a rapid organ culture assay for cellular neoplasia

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Science  03 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4332, pp. 980-983
DOI: 10.1126/science.203036


We used chick embryonic skin (CES) in organ culture to assess the neoplastic potential of a variety of cultured human and nonhuman cell lines. Cells derived from cancer tissues grew in CES and formed tumors in nude mice while cells derived from normal tissues grew in neither system. The CES proved to be more sensitive than the nude mouse when used to assay SV40 transformed human cells; each of four such lines grew in CES while only one of the four lines grew and formed tumors in nude mice. In addition, the patterns of invasion by inoculated cells can be easily studied in the CES. These results suggest that CES in organ culture offers an inexpensive, rapid, and reliable alternative to the nude mouse as a tumorigenicity test.