In this study we assessed the influence of patient- and drug-specific parameters in the short-term MTT-chemosensitivity assay in 150 primary cell cultures derived from human brain tumors. In 45 patients the MTT assay was directly compared with the CFA (Colony Forming Assay). Resistance was 10-20% higher in the MTT assay than in the CFA, but there was a good agreement in both assays, that more malignant gliomas had a higher in vitro chemosensitivity against ACNU and BCNU. Overall the results demonstrate, that there is no uniform correlation between the in vitro chemosensitivity and the histopathological classification of the tumors, which corresponds well to the clinical situation. On the basis of this study we suggest prospective clinical trials with the MTT assay in human brain tumors.