Chordoma is a rare, slow-growing cancer that can manifest along the spine anywhere from the clivus to the coccyx. Most chordomas arise spontaneously from remnants of the embryonic notochord. This cancer is difficult to treat and may recur in the same location after treatment. In nearly 40 percent of patients, chordoma will eventually metastasize to the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, and/or bone.
While chordoma seems to occur at random, there are genetic factors that contribute to risk of developing the disease. A high percentage of individuals with chordoma have a SNP in the sequence of the TBXT gene; this gene encodes the transcription factor T, or brachyury homologue, which is important in the development of the notochord and is highly expressed in the chordoma cells. Additionally, chordomas have been linked to duplications in the TBXT gene.
As research continues into the pathogenesis of chordoma, scientists need access to chordoma cells from a diverse pool of donors to test the efficacy of potential treatments.
ATCC, in partnership with the Chordoma Foundation, offers authenticated chordoma cell lines for research into the development of effective treatments and identifiable therapeutic targets for chordoma cancers. Additionally, pediatric chordoma cell lines representing the first in vitro progression model are now available. The foundation may offer financial assistance for the purchase of some of the cell lines available in the ATCC chordoma product list to encourage development of treatments. Each chordoma cell line is derived from a different donor and therefore multiple cell lines should be tested in order to ensure meaningful experimental results.
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