Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Malignant cells grow selectively in semi-solid media. Cultures of single-cell suspensions in these media result in the formation of colonies which are believed to represent clones of stem cells. Cells freshly sampled in cancer patients are assayed in such a system to quantify the in-vitro effect of various anticancer agents vs untreated controls. Partially retrospective comparisons between in-vitro and in-vivo data are very encouraging and suggest that observations in this assay correlate very favorably with clinical findings. This clonogenic assay should provide an experimental model of special relevance to clinical cancer chemotherapy and should greatly help define optimal treatments in individual patients. Although many technical problems remain to be settled, prospective studies are ongoing to determine to what extent the assay is actually predictive for the response to chemotherapy in cancer patients.