We have attempted to establish in vitro growth in a consecutive series of 245 malignant tumours submitted for routine histopathology. Initially, three disaggregation procedures were used: mechanical separation, digestion by trypsin, and digestion by collagenase. The resulting cell fractions had varying success rates in establishing growth. Abundant epithelial cell growth was achieved in monolayer culture in 63 tumours, and the sensitivity of the cells to cytotoxic agents was tested. There was no indiscriminate cytotoxic effect, and each tumour type varied in its sensitivity from one patient's lesion to another. While testing of all solid tumours is not possible with present-day techniques, we believe that the employment of in vitro sensitivity testing as a routine procedure may be possible in the future if a suitable system giving correlation between in vitro and in vivo sensitivity can be developed.
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