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Br J Cancer. 1980 Dec;42(6):881-9.

Cytotoxicity of adriamycin to tumour cells in vivo and in vitro.


Two mouse sarcomas have been used to assess the sensitivity to Adriamycin of tumour cells in vivo and in vitro. Both tumours were tissue-culture adapted so that cell survival could be assayed in vitro after treatment either in vivo or in vitro. For both tumours (WHFIB and CBSAF) cells were highly sensitive when treated in vitro yet very resistant to treatment in vivo, whether assayed by cell survival or regrowth delay. Cells from both tumours treated in vitro with Adriamycin immediately after excision were slightly more resistant than the cells maintained in vitro. However, this was not adequate to explain the marked discrepancy between in vivo resistance and in vitro sensitivity. The discrepancy was not due to a failure of drug delivery. Phase of cell growth was the factor was most significantly affecting chemosensitivity in vitro, plateau-phase cells being much more resistant than log-phase cells. Hypoxia was also an important factor leading to reduced chemosensitivity. Tumour diameter, in the range 2-8 mm, did not appear to be important.

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