• SCC;
  • head and neck carcinoma;
  • skin fibroblasts;
  • in vitro radiosensitivity;
  • SF2;
  • clonogenic assay


Individualization of radiation doses is presumed to result in better radiotherapy outcome. Success rate in measuring radiosensitivity is probably the most limiting factor for present radiosensitivity assays to be introduced into clinical routine. To find a simpler predictive parameter, we compared the radiosensitivity of dermal fibroblasts and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cell lines established from the same individuals. The radiosensitivity was tested using the clonogenic 96-well plate assay. The surviving fraction at 2.0 Gy (SF2) was determined, as well as the mean inactivation dose (AUC) of cancer cells. SF2 of SCC cell lines and skin fibroblasts were 0.25–0.44 and 0.11–0.43, respectively. AUC of SCC cells was 1.4–2.1 Gy. Dermal fibroblasts were more radiosensitive than SCC cells in 14 of 15 cases. In 1 patient (UT-SCC-8), cancer cells were found to be more radiosensitive than corresponding dermal fibroblasts. There was a clear tendency to a correlation between radiosensitivities of these 2 cell types, but statistical significance was reached only when the data of UT-SCC-8 was excluded. In our material, the intrinsic radiosensitivity of head and neck SCC cells could in most cases be predicted from the intrinsic radiosensitivity of dermal fibroblasts established from the same individual. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.