Preliminary correlations of clinical outcome with in vitro chemosensitivity of second passage human breast cancer cells

Cancer Res. 1990 May 15;50(10):2943-8.


These studies describe the clinical correlations of 63 in vitro chemosensitivity assays on breast cancer cells after short-term monolayer culture. Forty-five of the assays were single agent correlations. Based on cut-off values determined empirically, the test accurately predicted resistance for 36 of 41 patients (88%) who did not respond to the drug. It also predicted sensitivity with a high degree of accuracy: 21 of 22 patients (95%) who responded to the drug tested had a sensitive assay. In five cases, two biopsies were evaluated from the same patient. Whenever assays were performed before and after treatment with a given drug, tumor cells from the second biopsy were more resistant in vitro if the patient failed on therapy. If the patient did not fail, but stopped therapy for other reasons, or if there was no intervening therapy with the tested drug, the two biopsies remained similar in drug sensitivity. These results suggest that in vitro chemosensitivity assays which accurately predict both sensitivity and resistance can be obtained with breast cancer cells after short-term culture and that further prospective trials are warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cisplatin / toxicity
  • Daunorubicin / analogs & derivatives
  • Daunorubicin / toxicity
  • Doxorubicin / toxicity
  • Epirubicin / toxicity
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Vinblastine / toxicity


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Epirubicin
  • Vinblastine
  • Doxorubicin
  • idarubicinol
  • Cisplatin
  • Daunorubicin