Starting from different regional samples taken from a heterogeneous follicular thyroid cancer recurrence in a male patient, a series of cell cultures was initiated. Three stable cancer cell lines were successfully established (TT2609-A02, TT2609-B02 and TT2609-C02) and kept in continuous culture for more than 3 years. The lines are each characterized by a unique set of biological parameters such as morphology, ploidy state, cell proliferation rate, ultrastructure, thyroid marker expression, p53 expression, karyogram, agar clonogenic capacity and tu- morigenicity as xenografts in nude mice. These characterization studies point to a marked heterogeneity at the level of the clinical tumor recurrence. Karyotype analysis of the cell lines showed a pattern of aberrations indicating that the lines are clonally related and that the A02 and C02 lines are subsequently derived from the more "original" tumor cell type B02 after a tetraploidization event. It is concluded that the obtained cell lines represent an in vitro/in vivo model for human follicular thyroid cancer. The availability of a series of cell lines for human follicular thyroid cancer, mimicking the biological heterogeneity observed in patient tumors, enables both detailed fundamental investigation of thyroid cancer cell biology and the experimental exploration of new treatment approaches.