In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 1030–1034 | Cite as

Rapid chemosensitivity assay with human normal and tumor cells in vitro

  • Ellen Borenfreund
  • Harvey Babich
  • Nieves Martin-Alguacil
Regular Papers


Neutral red assay, as an index of cytotoxicity, has been applied to predictive screening of chemotherapeutic agents. Human hepatoma and melanoma tumor cells and normal melanocytes, keratinocytes and fibroblasts were incubated for 2, 24, and 48 h with graded concentrations of cis-platinum (0.1 to 80 μM), doxorubicin (0.01 to 100 μM), and 5-fluorouracil (1 to 1000 μM). Cells were most sensitive after 48 h. Tumor cells, based on 50% toxicity values, were 2–4 times more sensitive than the normal cells, except for cis-platinum, where only melanoma cells, as compared to normal melanocytes, showed a marked difference in cytotoxic response. Methotrexate (1 to 10 μM) toxicity could be reversed in the presence of 100 μM of leucovorin. This sensitive, rapid, and economical assay is suitable for preclinical screening and drug development.

Key words

chemotherapeutics in vitro screening neutral red assay 


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Copyright information

© Tissue Culture Association 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Borenfreund
    • 1
  • Harvey Babich
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nieves Martin-Alguacil
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory Animal Research CenterThe Rockefeller UniversityNew York
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesYeshiva University, Stern CollegeNew York

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