NUT midline carcinoma cell lines TC797 and TC1297

Categories: “Cancer Therapeutics“, “Research Tools

Reference: 2022-022

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NUT midline carcinoma (NMC) is incurable cancer with an average survival of nine months or less, which is defined by the presence of NUT fusion genes. Georgetown researchers developed NMC cell lines from the pleural fluid and bone marrow aspirate of a pediatric patient diagnosed with thymic carcinoma. The cell lines are TC-797, derived from pleurocentesis, and TC1297, derived from bone marrow aspirate. The cell lines have novel translocations (deregulated transcription control) and express high levels of IGF-IR. The karyotypic abnormality revealed in this cell line appears to mark a cohort of patients with thymic carcinoma with a poor prognosis despite aggressive chemotherapy, which could be explored to improve therapeutic strategies.


NMC is a rare and aggressive cancer, defined by rearrangements of the gene NUT. Although rare, NMCs occur throughout life and are often mistaken for other entities, including thymic carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, lung carcinoma, Ewing sarcoma, and acute leukemia. Commonly used therapies include surgical debulking, consolidative radiotherapy, and cytotoxic chemotherapy, but even with multimodality therapy, the median survival from diagnosis is only 9.5 months. Georgetown researchers established cell lines with a chromosomal translocation common to thymic carcinomas in young patients that identifies a tumor subgroup with a poor prognosis.


  • Use for drug screening to explore potential therapeutics e.g. to explore the utility of experimental small molecules in NUT midline carcinoma and other therapeutic strategies


  • Unique karyotypic abnormality, original viable cell line from a pediatric patient (1997)

Scientific Publication

“Translocation (11;15;19): a Highly Specific Chromosome rearrangement Associated With Poorly Differentiated Thymic Carcinoma in Young Patients,” Toretsky, J., et al.Am J Clin Oncol (CCT) 26(3): 300–306, 2003.


Jeffrey Toretsky