SK-OV-3: Human Ovarian Cancer Cell Line


SK-OV-3: Human Ovarian Cancer Cell Line



SK-OV-3 is a human ovarian cancer cell line with epithelial-like morphology. These cells are resistant to tumor necrosis factor and to other cytotoxic drugs such as diphtheria toxin, cisplatin, and adriamycin. The SK-OV-3 cell line forms colonies in soft agar, which serves as a surrogate assay for tumorigenicity. Intra-peritoneal injection of these cells into immunocompromised mice results in the growth of tumors resembling clear cell adenocarcinoma, within two to three months.


This cell line was established in 1973 from the ascites of a 64-year-old Caucasian female with adenocarcinoma of the ovary.


  • Lloyd J. Old, MD, former William E. Snee Chair in Cancer Immunology, Memorial Sloan Kettering; former Director, New York Branch, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
  • Germain Trempe, 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)
  • Shaw TJ et al. (2004) Characterization of intraperitoneal, orthotopic, and metastatic xenograft models of human ovarian cancer. Molecular Therapy 10: 1032–1042 (PubMed ID: 15564135)

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