HeLa cells 50 years on: the good, the bad and the ugly

@article{Masters2002HeLaC5,
  title={HeLa cells 50 years on: the good, the bad and the ugly},
  author={John R. W. Masters},
  journal={Nature Reviews Cancer},
  year={2002},
  volume={2},
  pages={315-319}
}
  • J. Masters
  • Published 1 April 2002
  • Biology
  • Nature Reviews Cancer
HeLa cells — the first continuous cancer cell line — have been a mainstay of cancer research ever since their isolation from the aggressive glandular cervical cancer of a young woman more than 50 years ago. Knowledge of almost every process that occurs in human cells has been obtained using HeLa cells and the many other cell lines that have since been isolated. So why does fraud an ignorance surround the use of these and other human cancer cell lines? 
Making every cell like HeLa a giant step for cell culture.
HeLa Cell Line [1]
TLDR
Though the HeLa cell line has contributed to many advancements in biomedical research since the twentieth century, its usage in medical research has been controversial because Lacks did not consent to having her cells used for such purposes.
The Extensive and Expensive Impacts of HEp-2 [HeLa], Intestine 407 [HeLa], and Other False Cell Lines in Journal Publications
TLDR
To ascertain how widespread this problem is and how it affects the literature, as well as to estimate how much funding has been used to produce pools of scientific literature of questionable value, two false cell lines that are widely used in the scientific literature but were shown to be cross-contaminated in 1967 are targeted.
Persistent use of “false” cell lines
  • M. Lacroix
  • Biology
    International journal of cancer
  • 2008
TLDR
A collaborative action involving users of cell lines, cell banks, journals and funding agencies is needed to achieve success, notably based on recent technical advances in cell line authentication (short tandem repeat analysis).
False leukemia–lymphoma cell lines: an update on over 500 cell lines
TLDR
These findings provide a rationale for mandating the procurement of reputably sourced LL cell lines and their regular authentication thereafter and discuss the impact of cross-contamination on scientific research, the reluctance of scientists to address the problem, and possible solutions.
Henrietta Lacks, HeLa cells, and cell culture contamination.
TLDR
The history behind the development of HeLa cells, including the first published description of Ms Lacks' autopsy, and the cell culture contamination that resulted are described.
Discovery of HeLa Cell Contamination in HES Cells
TLDR
The discovery of HeLa cell contamination of the human endometrial epithelial cell line HES isolated in the laboratory is reported and it is verified that WISH cells, isolated originally from human amnion epithelium, were also contaminated with HeLa cells.
Exploring Life and Death at the Cellular Level: An Examination of How Our Cells Can Live Without Us
TLDR
Examples of how and why cells have lived on long after the individual they came from has died are presented and questions such as, “Who owns the authors' biological samples once they leave their bodies?” and, ‘Is cell culture a form of immortality?’ will be discussed.
Consequences of Using False Cell Lines: Pollution of the Scientific Literature
TLDR
To ascertain how widespread this problem is and how it affects the literature, as well as to estimate how much funding has been used to produce pools of scientific literature of questionable value, two false cell lines that are widely used in the scientific literature but were shown to be cross-contaminated in 1967 are targeted.
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