Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 731, 2011, pp 219-236
Date: 24 Mar 2011

Cellular Chemosensitivity Assays: An Overview

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Abstract

Data on cell viability have long been obtained from in vitro cytotoxicity assays. Today, there is a focus on markers of cell death, and the MTT cell survival assay is widely used for measuring cytotoxic potential of a compound. However, a comprehensive evaluation of cytotoxicity requires additional assays which ­measure short and long-term cytotoxicity. Assays which measure the cytostatic effects of compounds are not less important, particularly for newer anticancer agents. This overview discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different non-clonogenic assays for measuring short and medium-term cytotoxicity. It also discusses clonogenic assays, which accurately measure long-term cytostatic effects of drugs and toxic agents. For certain compounds and cell types, the advent of high throughput, multiparameter, cytotoxicity assays, and gene expression assays have made it possible to predict cytotoxic potency in vivo.