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Letter to the Journal Office: Comment on 'J. Cancer Mol. 3(4): 121-128, 2007'

Author(s): Ian Freshney

Journal: Journal of Cancer Molecules
ISSN 1816-0735

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 61;
Date: 2008;
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Dear Dr. Singh, I have just read your interesting paper in J Cancer Mol 3(4): 121-128 regarding improving the response to chemotherapy by inducing apoptosis. This is valuable data but you should realise that Hep-2 cells are not laryngeal carcinoma cells but are, in fact, HeLa cells, from human cervical adenocarcinoma. The Hep-2 cell line was cross-contaminated with HeLa many years ago, being first reported by Stanley Gartler [Gartler, S.M. (1967). Genetic markers as tracers in cell culture. Second Decennial Review Conference on Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture; NCI Monograph, NCI, Washington, pp167-195.] and now documented in the catalogues of most major cell banks [;]. While this does not invalidate the fundamental importance of your observations, they clearly have no relevance to head and neck cancer and you may like to consider printing a correction in a subsequent issue of the journal. You may or may not be aware that there has been a resurgence of interest in the prevalence of the use of cross-contaminated or misidentified cell lines due to the efforts of Roland Nardone and other members of a cross-contamination forum of concerned scientists. This has led to the inclusion of a report in the NIH Office for Research Integrity Newsletter from March this year (“”), stressing the importance of this problem. Sorry to be the bringer of bad tidings. Best wishes, Ian Freshney, 24 Greenwood Drive, Bearsden Glasgow G61 2HA, Scotland, UK. The author’s response: Dear Sir, This is with reference to our paper entitled “Curcumin and Quercetin Combined with Cisplatin to Induce Apoptosis in Human Laryngeal Carcinoma Hep-2 Cells through the Mitochondrial Pathway” which appeared in Journal of Cancer Molecules vol 3, 121-8, 2007. In this connection I would like to request you to kindly print a correction in a subsequent issue of the journal stating that “Hep-2 cell line was orignally thought to be derived from an epidermoid carcinoma of the larynx but was subsequently found to have been established via HeLa cell contamination, and thus may not truly represent laryngeal carcinoma cells. Thus though the fundamental importance of the findings on Hep-2 cells holds true, but it may not have relevance for head and neck cancer”. With regards, your sincerely, Neeta Singh, Professor, Dept of Biochemistry, AIIMS, New Delhi, INDIA
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