Cell Growth pp 749-772 | Cite as

The Relevance of Cell Kinetics in Determining Drug Activity in vitro

  • Benjamin Drewinko
  • Barthel Barlogie
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 38)


Cell cultures provide a rapid, efficient and economic system for initial cytotoxicity screenings of antitumor agents, allowing elucidation of the mode of action of a drug in a controlled, systematic fashion with a high degree of resolution. The main assumption for in vitro studies with chemotherapeutic agents is that the survival response of cultured cells will reflect that of in vivo cells once the drug reaches the neoplastic elements, thus circumventing the pharmacokinetics determinants of tumor response (i.e. absorption, transportation, combination, transformation and degradation). While a direct translation from in vitro to in vivo systems is not possible, many survival responses of proliferating mammalian cells are reasonably similar to the two situations (1–4) provided that strict criteria are established to define cell survival. Drug-induced cell killing is the result of an interplay between the type, extent, and duration of the damaging effect caused by a drug to critical biosynthetic pathways or subcellular structures and the capacity of living elements to bypass or repair such damage. Because of this interplay, a lethally damaged cell may divide several times before the entire progeny perishes from the damage inherited from the single ancestor (5–8).


Antitumor Agent Vinca Alkaloid LoVo Cell Cell Kinetic Stationary Phase Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Drewinko
    • 1
  • Barthel Barlogie
    • 1
  1. 1.M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor InstituteThe University of Texas System Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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