Fanconi anemia (FA) is a heritable malformation, bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition syndrome that confers an exceptionally high risk of developing carcinomas arising in squamous mucosal epithelia lining the mouth, proximal esophagus, vulva and anus. The origin of these cancers is not understood, and no effective way has been identified to prevent or delay their appearance. FA-associated carcinomas are also therapeutically challenging, as they may be multi-focal and stage-advanced at diagnosis making surgical control challenging. Moreover, individuals with FA have systemic DNA damage hypersensitivity and thus an elevated risk of toxicity when treated with standard-of-care therapies such as DNA cross-linking drugs and ionizing radiation.
We developed the Fanconi Anemia Cancer Cell Line Resource (FA-CCLR) in order to foster new research on the origins, treatment, and prevention of FA-associated cancers. The FA-CCLR consists of FANC-isogenic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell line pairs from cancers arising in individuals with FA, or newly engineered from sporadic HNSCC cell lines. Molecular, cellular, and biochemical analyses were used to demonstrate the causal dependence of key FA-associated phenotypes on FANC genotype, expression and pathway activity. These FANC-isogenic cell line pairs are available to academic and non-profit investigators, with ordering information available at the Fanconi Anemia Research Materials Resource and Repository at Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland OR.