Two human melanoma cell lines (one radiosensitive, HT144 and one radioresistant, SK Mel-3) and one normal human fibroblast (AG1522) were evaluated for thermal radiosensitization and the thermal enhancement ratios (TERs) were calculated. These were compared with residual polymerase activity to determine if this activity could be used to predict TERs. In all three cell lines, there was a good correlation between TER and residual polymerase alpha or beta activity. Polymerase beta was more sensitive than polymerase alpha as an indicator for TER. There were small cell line-dependent differences (not related to radiosensitivity) among the correlation curves, indicating that for each cell/tumor-type polymerase activity, vs. TER may have to be calibrated.