The cell line SPEC-1, derived from a human serous papillary endometrial carcinoma (SPEC), has been established and repetitively subcultured for over 18 months. SPEC is a clinically aggressive histologic variant of endometrial adenocarcinoma with a significantly poorer prognosis. The SPEC cells exhibit morphologic and ultrastructural characteristics of transformed epithelial cells. The cells were further characterized with regard to growth kinetics, histochemistry, karyotype, and tumorigenicity. These studies indicate that several properties of the SPEC cells in culture contrast markedly with those of both typical endometrial adenocarcinoma cell lines and normal endometrial epithelia, as described in the literature. The most significant of these differences concern cytogenetic and ultrastructural features. The implications of these unique characteristics are discussed with regard to the relationship they may have to the unusually aggressive biological behavior of this tumor cell type in vivo. This SPEC cell line should prove useful in future studies designed to determine important factors in the biological behavior of human tumor cells. © 1989.