Using culture techniques, we have been able to grow occult tumor cells from the bone marrow from cancer patients and have developed a new malignant lymphoid cell line, OMA‐BL‐I, from the bone marrow of a 17‐year‐old patient with recurrent Burkitt's lymphoma. The tumor cells grew rapidly in vitro in suspension culture, and very aggressively in vivo in athymic nude mice with metastases to the liver and abdominal cavity. The morphological, chromosomal, immunophenotypic and molecular biologic characteristics of fresh uncultured tumor cells from the patient and tumor cells grown in culture and in athymic nude mice were very similar. The cells were positive for Epstein‐Barr virus‐associated nuclear antigens (EBNA) and chromosome analysis of the cells revealed an atypical chromosomal abnormality of 45, X, ‐X, i(8q), HSR(18)(q21), t(8;14)(q24;q32). Southern analysis demonstrated that c‐myc was rearranged and amplified in these cells. Immunophenotypic analysis of the cells using flow cytometry showed monoclonal B cells expressing a surface IgG‐kappa isotype. The tumor cells grown in nude mice had a significant decrease in CD24 expression when compared to cultured tumor cells. Electron microscopy of the fresh and cultured cells revealed Herpes virus, most likely Epstein‐Barr virus, particles. This cell line has been maintained in culture for over 18 months. The aggressive growth and metastatic properties of this cell line in athymic nude mice make it a potentially useful experimental model to study the biology of human lymphoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research