Distribution of radiation sensitivities for human tumor cells of specific histological types: comparison of in vitro to in vivo data

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1986 Apr;12(4):617-24. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(86)90071-4.


The radiosensitivities of human tumor cell lines, grouped into 6 histological categories, have been studied using data from the published literature. The parameters alpha, beta, n, D0, D, and the surviving fraction to 2 Gy (S2) and 8 Gy (S8) were calculated. Only the two parameters mainly derived from the initial part of the survival curve, alpha and D, together with S2, provided data which were correlated with the clinical radioresponsiveness of each histological group. Thus, there are intracellular factors which influence clinical radioresponsiveness whose relative importance varies from one histological cell type to another. The value of D gave the most precise characterization of the average group radiosensitivity. It was possible to compare the in vivo radiosensitivities of non-severely hypoxic cells with those of tumor cells irradiated in vitro for 7 tumor lines grown as xenografts in mice. The average radiosensitivity was 1.9 times less in vivo than in vitro. This difference indicates that, in addition to the intrinsic factors of radioresistance demonstrated in vitro, and independently of severe hypoxia, there are other factors which specifically reduce radiosensitivity in vivo.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Glioma / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lymphoma / pathology
  • Lymphoma / radiotherapy
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / radiotherapy
  • Radiation Tolerance*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous