Diploid fibroblasts were fused with cells of two highly malignant near euploid tumours, a sarcoma induced by polyoma virus and a spontaneous carcinoma; the resulting hybrid cells were tested for their ability to grow progressively in vivo. In the case of the sarcoma/fibroblast hybrids, 15 clonal populations, each derived from a separate primary fusion, were examined. Most of these populations already showed substantial losses of chromosomes by the time enough cells had been generated to permit chromosomal analysis; but a few clones were isolated with chromosomal constitutions approximating to the sum of the 2 parental chromosome sets. Those clones that had undergone substantial chromosomal losses were highly tumorigenic, but some of the clones that contained the complete, or almost complete, chromosome sets of both parent cells, showed a greatly reduced take incidence. Initially these clones produced very few tumours, but the take incidence rose as continued cultivation of the cells in vitro resulted in progressive loss of chromosomes. In the case of the carcinoma/fibroblast hybrids, clonal populations with very high chromosome numbers were selected for special study. These were also found to have a very low take incidence, comparable to that of the hybrids formed by the fusion of the tumour cells with L cell derivatives. None of the tumours produced by the injection of either the sarcoma/fibroblast or carcinoma/fibroblast hybrids were composed of cells containing chromosome complements corresponding to the sum of the 2 parental chromosome sets; all the tumours were formed by selective overgrowth of cells from which some chromosomes had been eliminated. These results indicate that the malignancy of the tumour cells can be suppressed by diploid fibroblasts as well as by the L cell derivatives, but that the rapid chromosome losses characteristic of hybrids between these tumour cells and diploid fibroblasts generate malignant segregants with much greater frequency. In the range of material examined in the present experiments malignancy thus behaves as if it were a recessive character.

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