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SK-MES-1: Lung Cancer Cell Line



SK-MES-1 is a human lung cancer cell line that displays epithelial morphology and grows as monolayers in tissue culture. These cells exhibit a cytokeratin expression pattern typical of simple epithelia (i.e., CK7, CK8, CK18, and CK19), and similar to that found in adenocarcinomas. In addition, the expression of Lamins A, B, and C is readily detected in these cells. The SK-MES-1 cells are known to form tumors in immunocompromised mice.


This cell line was established in 1970 from a metastatic site (pleural effusion) in a 65-year-old Caucasian male with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.


  • 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) Absence of HeLa cell contamination in 169 cell lines derived from human tumors. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 58: 209-214 (PubMed ID: 833871)
  • Blobel GA et al. (1984) Cytokeratins in normal lung and lung carcinomas. I. Adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and cultured cell lines. Virchows Archiv, Cell Pathology Including Molecular Pathology. 45:407-29 (PubMed ID: 6203212)

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