In vitro determination of cytotoxic drug response in ovarian carcinoma using the fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay (FMCA)

Int J Cancer. 1997 Sep 17;72(6):1008-12. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19970917)72:6<1008::aid-ijc15>;2-0.


The fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay (FMCA), a short-term in vitro assay based on the concept of total tumor cell kill, was used for testing the cytotoxic drug sensitivity of tumor cells from patients with ovarian carcinoma. A total of 125 fresh specimens was obtained, 98 (78%) of which were analyzed successfully. Data from 45 patients were available for clinical correlations. The FMCA appeared to yield clinically relevant cytotoxic drug sensitivity data for ovarian carcinoma as indicated by a comparison with tumor samples obtained from patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or kidney carcinoma. Considering the most active single agent in vitro actually given in vivo, and using the median drug activity among all ovarian carcinoma samples as a cut-off, the sensitivity of the assay and its specificity were 75 and 52%, respectively. Cross-resistance in vitro was frequently observed between standard drugs but not between standard drugs and Taxol. Ten percent of the specimens showed an extreme resistance for at least 4 of 6 of the drugs investigated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity*
  • Biopsy
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor / methods
  • Female
  • Fluorometry / methods
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents