The establishment and characterisation of paired autologous tumour cell line (MST-1) and tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) culture from a tumour mass of a 14-year-old Taiwanese girl with soft tissue melanoma are described. MST-1 cells grown in vitro were heterogeneous in morphology, ranging from floating round cells, loosely attached round/oval or elongated cells with prominent pseudopod-like processes, to well-attached spindle and elongated dendritic cells without obvious pseudopods. Immunostaining revealed that major melanoma-associated antigens, such as S100 protein, HMB-45, melanotransferrin, chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan, and the gangliosides GD2 and GD3, were consistently expressed by the tumour tissue, severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mouse xenograft and derived cell lines. Flow cytometric analysis of the tumour DNA content showed an index of 1.8 relative to normal peripheral blood lymphocyte DNA. Chromosome analysis revealed all cells at a hypotetraploid level with several clonal chromosome aberrations, including deletions at 10p and 12q, an addition at 12q, translocations t(1;14) and t(5;6). Electron microscopy showed melanosome structures. This observation and the expression of the major melanoma-associated antigens were all indicative of the melanocytic origin of MST-1 tumour. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) expanded TILs had the predominant CD8+ phenotype and the capacity to lyse cells of the cultured autologous tumour. The availability of the soft tissue melanoma cell line, the SCID mouse xenograft tumour system as well as autologous TILs described herein would provide useful materials for identifying T-cell-defined antigens as well as a model system for devising individualised cancer biotherapeutic strategies. This cell line can also be used for further studies aimed at uncovering the histogenesis of this rare cancer.
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