Calu-1: Human Lung Cancer Cell Line

SK 784


Calu-1 is a non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell line that grows in adherent culture and displays epithelial morphology. These cells express wildtype LKB1, wildtype EGFR, and mutant K-Ras (G12C). In addition, they lack expression of both p53 (homozygous deletion) and FHIT (Fragile Histidine Triad) tumor-suppressor proteins. The Calu-1 cells are intrinsically resistant to erlotinib, an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor used in the treatment of NSCLC patients. These cells are capable of forming tumors in immunocompromised mice.


This cell line was established in 1971 from a metastatic site (pleura) in a 47-year-old Caucasian male with epidermoid carcinoma of the lung.


  • Germain Trempe, formerly at Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering
  • Jorgen Fogh, PhD, formerly at Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering

Key References

  • Fogh J et al. (1977) One hundred and twenty-seven cultured human tumor cell lines producing tumors in nude mice. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 59: 221-226 (PubMed ID: 327080)
  • Cavazzoni A et al. (2007) Effect of inducible FHIT and p53 expression in the Calu-1 lung cancer cell line. Cancer Letters 246: 69-81 (PubMed ID: 16616810)

Licensing Information

This cell line may be licensed nonexclusively for research or commercial purposes.

Contact Information

  • For licensing requests: Alexandra Buga, MBA, Business Development Analyst, Office of Technology Development, MSK, 646-888-1078,
  • For non-licensing requests from academic-research institutions: Frances Weis-Garcia, PhD, Associate Laboratory Member/Head, Antibody & Bioresource Core Facility, MSK, 646-888-2354,

Stage of Development

Ready to use