Intrinsic radiosensitivity of human cell lines is correlated with radioresponsiveness of human tumors: analysis of 101 published survival curves

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1985 Sep;11(9):1699-707. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(85)90223-8.


One hundred and one published survival curves for 92 human cell lines (including 64 tumor lines) have been analyzed in terms of several parameters that are supposed to characterize cell radiosensitivity. Values for n, Do, alpha and beta (from the linear quadratic model), D (Mean Inactivation Dose), and survivals at 2 Gy and 8 Gy have been obtained for each curve. It was found that: I. the initial part of the survival curve is specific to the corresponding cell line; II. this initial part is well characterized by the parameters alpha and D, the values of which can be used to compare intrinsic radiosensitivity among human cell lines; III. human tumor cell line radiosensitivity (expressed in terms of alpha, D and survival at 2 Gy) reflects the clinical radioresponsiveness of the tumors from which the cell lines are derived. Thus, cells from tumors with low radioresponsiveness (melanomas and glioblastomas) are the less radiosensitive. Furthermore, the range of survival at a dose of 2 Gy is broad enough to account, in large measure, for observed differences in clinical tumor radioresponsiveness.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radiation Tolerance