Comparison of chemosensitivity tests: Clonogenic assay versus MTT assay

Kazuhiko Kawada, Toshiro Yonei, Hiroshi Ueoka, Katsuyuki Kiura, Masahiro Tabata, Nagio Takigawa, Mine Harada, Mitsune Tanimoto

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48 Citations (Scopus)


When the development of chemotherapeutic agents reaches the clinical trial stage, it is necessary to perform drug sensitivity tests quickly in order to select the most promising agents for the treatment of cancer. In order to assess the possibility of using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay as a substitute for the human tumor clonogenic assay (HTCA), we evaluated the correlation between the results obtained by these 2 assays in 5 human lung cancer cell lines. The correlation coefficient between the results of the HTCA and the MTT assay was 0.673, indicating a relatively good correlation. The correlation was most prominent in platinum analogues (r = 0.939) and good in anthracyclines/anthracenedione (r = 0.611). However, no significant correlation was observed in vinca alkaloids, etoposide, irinotecan, SN-38 (an active metabolite of irinotecan), and rhizoxin. The results of the MTT assay showed a high degree of correlation with those of the HTCA in predicting the sensitivity of cancer cell lines to platinum analogues, and anthracyclines/anthracenedione. These results suggest that the MTT assay may be more convenient and quickly performed than the HTCA and can replace HTCA in evaluating the effects of anticancer agents, especially the platinum analogues and anthracyclines/anthracenedione.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2002


  • 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay
  • Chemosensitivity test
  • Clonogenic assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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