The objective of this study is to evaluate a novel approach to chemosensitivity testing with respect to its predictive value in the selection of clinically effective cytostatic drugs to optimize the therapeutic treatment of cancer. The chemosensitivity assay, which we used in this study, has its roots in pharmaceutical drug screening and the surrounding intellectual property is protected by various patent applications and trademarks. Therefore, we will refer to this test in the following pages as ChemoSelect. ChemoSelect is a sensor-chip based diagnostic test, which permits the functional and continuous real-time measurement of induced tumor cell cytotoxicity following the administration of chemotherapeutic drugs. Chemosensitivity is measured through the reduction of the excretion of lactic and carbonic acids--by-products of the metabolic processes of glycolysis and respiration and a parameter for cell vitality--generated specifically by ATP hydrolysis and lactic acid production. We used this test to study the applicability of this assay for tumor cells based on the analysis of tumor cell lines and tumor specimens. In this preliminary study, this test was studied in predicting chemoresistance and chemosensitivity in cell lines and tumor specimens for which the result was already predetermined by the properties of the cell line or the tumor specimen used in the experiment. The applicability in a clinical setting was studied by confirming the trends on selected drug sensitivity and drug resistance with an interim analysis of an ongoing clinical study in selected patients with breast cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The minimum detection limit of cells and biologic cell responses, an important variable determining the applicability of the test in routine clinical use, was also assessed. ChemoSelect avoids many of the limitations of existing chemoresistance assays and provides more comprehensive information and output, as it has a 24-h turnaround time, is applicable to the majority of solid tumors and available cytostatic drugs, does not need more than 10(5) cells in total, cultivated tumor cells, provides dynamic monitoring of cellular responses through on-line data read-out during the perfusion with drugs and can be extended to the analysis of novel therapeutic modalities such as biologics.