Robustness of clonogenic assays as a biomarker for cancer cell radiosensitivity

Toshiaki Matsui, Endang Nuryadi, Shuichiro Komatsu, Yuka Hirota, Atsushi Shibata, Takahiro Oike, Takashi Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Photon radiation therapy is a major curative treatment for cancer. However, the lack of robust predictive biomarkers for radiosensitivity precludes personalized radiation therapy. Clonogenic assays are the gold standard method for measuring the radiosensitivity of cancer cells. Although a large number of publications describe the use of clonogenic assays to measure cancer cell radiosensitivity, the robustness of results from different studies is unclear. To address this, we conducted a comprehensive detailed literature search of 256 common cancer cell lines and identified the eight cell lines most-frequently examined for photon sensitivity using clonogenic assays. Survival endpoints and experimental parameters from all 620 relevant experiments were compiled and analyzed. We found that the coefficients of variation for SF2 (surviving fraction after 2 Gy irradiation) and for D10 (dose that yields a surviving fraction of 10%) were below 30% for all cell lines, indicating that SF2 and D10 have acceptable inter-assay precision. These data support further analysis of published data on clonogenic assays using SF2 and D10 as survival endpoints, which facilitates robust identification of biological profiles representative of cancer cell sensitivity to photons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4148
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Clonogenic assays
  • Precision medicine
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiosensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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